Rock climbers have confidence that their safety equipment will catch them if they fall; otherwise they would never take the risk of climbing. But they don’t secure their anchors, knots and carabiners once, then ignore them for the duration of their climb. To be safe, they check their safety equipment periodically; both as their position changes, and as time passes.
This can well illustrate the confidence that a physician may have in his or her employer-provided disability benefits. Obtaining disability insurance gives you a sense of security. But to be sure that your disability insurance will “catch” you in the event of a serious accident or illness, your needs should be reviewed periodically.
Your disability coverage may not be adequate, whether you have gone through significant life changes, minor financial changes over time, or for other reasons. So be safe; it’s time to look at your situation and ensure that you can have genuine confidence in your financial protection.
Your Income May be Vulnerable: 6 Reasons Why
• Whether you’ve received a promotion or a salary increase, over time, your salary will increase. But have you taken the time to review your disability insurance protection since your last salary adjustment? If not, your protection may fall short.
• For physicians who earn more than $200,000 annually: your employer-provided disability benefit may have an inherent gap. This is because typically, employer-provided benefits may be limited to $10,000/month. Based on this benefits cap, a physician with a salary over $200,000 would not be covered for the minimum 60% insurance professionals recommend.¹
• During our consultations, it surprises many physicians when they learn that employer-paid disability insurance benefits are usually taxed as income. This leaves some families with even less income than was planned – at a time that is most critical. (Always consult your tax professional.)
• Employer-provided disability insurance is seldom portable, and when it is, it typically converts to an individual plan with reduced benefits. If you leave your current employer, you will likely need to obtain your own policy. If you leave your employer when you are older and have health issues, you may be turned down for disability coverage.
• Always a possibility of ever-tightening budgets: your employer may decide to cut back or eliminate your disability insurance benefits completely.
• You may depend financially on your annual bonus, but your current disability benefit likely does not protect that income.
If you find that you have a financial vulnerability, TMA Insurance Trust is pleased to offer you solutions. We can offer you a custom supplemental policy which fills the coverage gap that employer-provided benefits may leave.
We know that the financial needs of physicians differ greatly from those of the general public. So a cookie-cutter approach to disability insurance will likely not work well for your situation. Our goal is to help you discern your true need for protection, whether that need is at or above the 60% coverage that is often recommended.
*TMA Member Long Term Disability Insurance Plan
For TMA Members, this plan, issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, costs less than many other plans, and is relatively simple to obtain. For example, you will not need to qualify for coverage based on your income when you apply for up to a $4,000/per month benefit, and the plan does not take into account any other coverage you may currently have. It is an ideal plan to choose as a supplement to any current plan you have. If you are under age 55, you can apply for up to a $10,000/month benefit with simplified underwriting.
Guardian Disability Insurance
By purchasing a disability insurance plan as early in your career as possible, you can lock in the most affordable rate possible. And when you choose a plan from Guardian through TMA Insurance Trust, you can take advantage of multiple discounts for TMA members - a potential savings of up to 20%. This includes an exclusive 10% discount for all members. An additional discount of up to 10% is available depending upon the type of medicine you practice. Unlike some offers that are limited to the first year’s premium, this savings is a permanent discount for the life of your policy.
Coverage that Keeps Up With Changes
These plans offer benefits that provide enhanced value over time. Both TMA member plans mentioned above offer the following benefits:
• Student Loan Reimbursement benefit – this benefit can help you make any student loan payments you may have if you become sick or injured and can’t work.
• Cost of Living Adjustment provision – over time, inflation may decrease the value of your benefits. This benefit helps protect you from that effect.
• Future Increase Option provision – your salary increases over time; shouldn’t your disability benefit adjust as well?
Contact the TMA Insurance Trust for more information; our advisors can help you compare these and other plans’ benefits, so they can help you find the best option for your needs. Best of all, our advisors do not receive sales-based commissions, so there is never any sales pressure; we simply want what is best for you. So take a moment to ensure your financial protection will catch you - contact an advisor for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.
For over 60 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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¹FEDweek, Disability Purchase Considerations for Disability Insurance, May 2019
*TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ. The Booklet-certificate contains all details, including any policy exclusions, limitations and restrictions, which may apply. CA COA# 1179, NAIC #68241. Contract Series 83500.