Many young physicians buy individual disability insurance based on price alone, thinking that all own-occupation coverage is the same. However, there are other factors to consider. Your choices can have financial consequences for your family, should you become sick or hurt and unable to work.
Highly Rated Coverage at a 10% Discount for TMA Members
You may be paying off debt from your medical training and feel you can’t afford coverage. Or you may think you have enough coverage from your employer, which typically covers up to 60 percent of a physician’s income. However, should you become disabled and receive monthly payments, employer paid benefits will be taxed as income. Now ask yourself, could your family live on half your income and continue paying monthly expenses if you became disabled? An individual policy can help cover this income gap.
The best time to buy quality true own-occupation disability insurance is when you’re young and healthy, and most insurable. That’s why TMA Insurance Trust has partnered with Guardian, rated A++ (Superior) by AM Best, to offer members an exclusive 10 percent discount on Guardian Provider Choice disability coverage. The savings extends for the entire term of a policy, which can add up to thousands of dollars for a 30-year term.
Affordability at Every Stage of Your Career
As a young physician, Guardian’s Graded Premium Option allows you to get more coverage for less. You can start out with a more affordable rate based on your age. Then as your income rises, and while you are still young, you can lock in a level premium rate for the remaining term of the policy. Regardless of which type of premium you choose, the 10 percent discount for members still applies.
Advantages that set Guardian Provider Choice Apart
Guardian Provider Choice gives you the option of protecting your medical specialty with a comprehensive definition of true own-occupation disability coverage. If disabled, this allows you to receive full disability benefits based on the work you were doing 12 months prior to becoming disabled. In fact, you can choose to work in another specialty, within or outside of your field, sometimes even in your own practice, and not forfeit your disability benefits.
Another advantage is that if you become ill with a serious illness such as cancer, heart attack or stroke, you will receive 150 percent of your benefits in the first year.
Flexibility for Young Physicians
Guardian Provider Choice also provides flexibility in designing a policy. A TMA Insurance Trust advisor can help you customize your policy with the riders and options that offer the best protection at this stage in your career. Here are some examples of important coverage options:
• Student Loan Benefit Rider helps you make your student loan payments while you are disabled.
• Cost of Living Adjustment Rider (COLA) indexes your benefit to inflation.
• Future Increase Option allows you to increase your monthly benefit without further medical underwriting.
• Enhanced Partial Disability Rider lets you collect benefits even when you are partially disabled and not earning your full income.
Another reason we partnered with Guardian is the straightforward formula used to evaluate how a physician qualifies for benefits. It is based on the pre-disability source of earnings. For example, if more than 50 percent of a physician’s earnings are derived from performing surgeries or hands-on patient care, and an illness or injury prevents him or her from doing this work, the physician is considered totally disabled and qualifies for benefits.
Guaranteed renewable and Non-Cancelable
Once approved by Guardian, as long as you continue to make payments, your policy can never be canceled and the rate outlined in your policy can never be increased for the term of the policy.
Whether you need to purchase your first disability policy or supplement your current disability policy, working with a TMA Insurance Trust professional can help you make informed choices. That way, if you do suffer a disability, your benefits will adequately replace your personal income so you can focus on recuperating and get back to the life you love.
TMA Insurance Trust is a full-service insurance agency with over 60 years of experience helping Texas physicians protect their assets, family and practice. Advocating for members, TMA Insurance advisors offer unbiased information and strategies, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry. And since advisors don’t work on commission, there is never any obligation or sales pressure.
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