If you are like most physicians, despite the fact that you work very hard, you still have not achieved financial independence. Instead, you depend on your ability to continue to earn an income. Still, some physicians are living with a hidden risk that could destroy their financial security. The danger: the risk of a disabling injury or long-term illness.
In the United States, a workplace injury occurs every seven seconds. A person is injured in a car accident every 14 seconds. But the greatest risk of long-term absence from work is from illness, not injury.
Does Your Coverage Meet Your Current Needs?
Most physicians realize that they need disability insurance, and they have at one point in time secured a policy. For some, this was early in their career. However, disability insurance is not a “once and done” type of coverage. Since the purpose of disability insurance is to replace your income if you can’t work because of serious illness or injury, ask yourself the following questions:
• How much coverage does my current disability insurance policy provide?
• How much has my income changed since I obtained disability insurance?
• How much have my expenses changed since my coverage began?
• Could I truly survive on the income that my disability policy would pay?
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Employer-Provided Coverage May Leave Gaps
Not Enough Income
Imagine the strain of trying to get by on half of your income while dealing with a prolonged illness or injury. Since many employer-provided, long-term disability insurance plans replace only about half of a physician’s income, the advantage of increasing your disability protection with a supplemental policy is clear.
There are other drawbacks to most employer plans. If your group disability insurance is sponsored by your employer, and the employer pays all or part of the premium, then your benefits may be taxable. When you pay the premiums with pretax dollars, your benefits will be taxable. If you are ever disabled, every penny you pay in taxes will reduce the amount available to cover your expenses.
The disability insurance you may obtain through your employer is usually not portable. Despite the clear benefits of employer-provided disability insurance, when you change employment, you may no longer have coverage. Long-term disability insurance becomes more expensive as you age. If you develop medical issues, you may not be able to buy it at any price. So if you think you may change employers at some point in the future, now is the time to make sure you have your own, portable disability policy in place.
Individual Disability Protection: Covering Potential Gaps
Have you purchased a disability insurance policy that no longer provides adequate benefits to cover your monthly expenses? Perhaps you think it is easier to depend upon your savings to make up for any shortage. But why put your savings at risk and gamble that it will be enough if you become disabled? You can benefit from a supplemental long-term disability policy to bridge that gap - and it may be much easier to obtain than you think.
The TMA Insurance Trust strongly encourages members to purchase their own long-term disability policy. This individual plan will offer more options, broader coverage, portability, and tax-free benefits that you won’t find with an employer plan.
To that end, we can provide TMA members with two options for disability coverage: a fully-customizable plan designed for maximum protection, or the TMA member plan designed for maximum affordability. However, for many busy physicians, finding the right balance between benefits and costs can be complicated, bringing many questions. Will my benefits last until retirement age? Does my medical specialty require higher levels of coverage? Do I have “own occupation” coverage? Do my needs change if I own my own practice?
Fortunately, as a TMA member, you don’t have to find the solution alone. TMA Insurance Trust advisors are ready to help you. Unlike many disability agents, TMA Insurance Trust advisors do not work on commission, so there is no incentive for them to sell you a product or coverage that is more than you need.
We want to support you in your career and make sure you have the protection you need and deserve. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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.