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Comprehensive Disability Insurance Coverage: The Strategy of Stacking and Laddering

As your career as a physician progresses, the need for a comprehensive income replacement strategy becomes greater. While you may have had enough coverage in the early stages, it may no longer suffice as your income has grown and your financial responsibilities have increased. This is where the strategy of "stacking" or "laddering" disability insurance policies can provide a cost-effective solution to enhance coverage without replacing existing policies.

Understanding Your Need for More Coverage

Have you considered how securing disability insurance early in your career can benefit you as a young physician? A smart strategy is to start with a plan featuring a longer waiting period, covering you through retirement, which can lower costs. This can then be supplemented with an affordable plan featuring a shorter waiting period, which provides benefits before the long-term disability policy begins paying out. A plan with a Future Increase Option would allow you to increase coverage as your income and financial responsibilities grow, without requiring further underwriting.

Already an established physician? As time passes and your income rises, the limitations of your initial policies may become clear. What if you now have your own practice? Do you have enough coverage to cover your personal expenses, practice expenses, and retain your staff? If you are an employed physician who receives disability coverage as a benefit from your employer, are you aware of the limitations of your coverage?

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One solution is not to replace existing policies with new ones but to supplement them with additional disability coverage. This approach can be the most affordable way to add more coverage, as the policies secured earlier in your career were likely obtained at a lower cost due to your age and better health. Stacking or laddering multiple policies can provide more comprehensive coverage at a lower overall cost.

To determine how much of your income is currently unprotected, use our Disability Income Calculator on the TMA Insurance Trust website. By being proactive, you can adapt to your changing circumstances without leaving yourself financially vulnerable.

Maximize Your Benefits

Regardless of what you earn, most disability insurance carriers have a maximum monthly benefit limit they will pay and this is outlined in their policies. Some carriers also stipulate in their policies a maximum monthly benefit amount that can be collected from all disability insurance policies you have. By stacking or laddering multiple policies, you may be able to get the maximum benefit payout should you have an unexpected injury or illness.

For example, if you have a policy that pays a monthly benefit of $10,000 a month, but the policy also allows you to receive a maximum benefit of $30,000 or $35,000 between multiple policies, you then have the flexibility to obtain another policy that can be coordinated with your existing policy to maximize your benefits. Even if you have reached your maximum benefit, we may have a plan to help protect more of your income. Our goal is to make the terms of the supplemental policy as cost effective as possible while making your overall income protection more comprehensive.

Income Protection Strategy Made Easy

TMA Insurance Trust advisors make it easy for Texas physicians to obtain disability coverage, regardless of their career stage. As you advance in your career, your coverage may need to change in proportion to your income. Consider the impact on all those who rely on you if an unexpected illness or injury were to occur. Having the right amount of coverage will help you protect what matters most.

Our experienced advisors can guide you through your disability coverage options and help secure the income and practice protection you need for added peace of mind throughout your career. Contact TMA Insurance Trust today at 800-880-8181, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CST, to explore your options and help protect your financial future.

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For over 65 years, TMA Insurance Trust advisors have been serving Texas physicians, their families and staff. TMA Insurance Trust prides itself on offering unbiased information and strategies to members, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry.

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