During these days of historic change and uncertainty, it is not uncommon to think about what we can do to help further protect the health and financial security of our family.
As a result, our advisors are fielding numerous questions about disability insurance. This is because disability insurance is a vital way to help replace income if we are unable to work due to illness or injury.
As we face the challenges of these extraordinary times, many of our members are reviewing or reevaluating their disability insurance options.
Here is some insight into one disability insurance plan that may help inform your decision about getting coverage that can serve your needs and save you money.
A Group Plan for Individual Members
If you have ever explored ways to help protect your income, you have likely come across both group and individual disability insurance plans. Each type of plan comes with various benefits and features.
Many of our members may not realize it, but as a TMA member you have access to the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America. This is an exclusive group plan created for TMA members that is not available through another agent or broker.
Below are some of the many reasons why this group plan can make sense for you now.
It’s Early in Your Career and Your Budget is Limited
Typically, a group policy can cost less than an individual disability insurance plan. If you are just starting your career and cannot afford a more expensive individual policy, the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan can be right for you.
If you are on a budget, this plan may enable you to purchase more coverage at a lower cost than an individual policy.
The Dollars and Cents Advantage
As an example: With the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan, a 32-year old member could buy a $5,000/month benefit with a 90-day elimination period (the time you wait before receiving benefits) for $38.35 per month.
An individual policy for the same benefit and elimination period from a leading disability insurance company could cost significantly more. If you have mortgage and medical school loan payments, the lower cost group plan could provide a more economical way to get the disability coverage you need.
A Benefit for Female Physicians
If you are a female physician and have explored your disability insurance options, you might appreciate that, unlike most individual policies, the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan features rates that are not based on gender.
So if you are a working female physician, this can be a good time to have the TMA Member Plan in place, especially If you are thinking of starting a family in the future.
Supplement Your Plan for More Coverage
For some of our members, there may be situations where you currently have an individual policy but wish to increase the amount of your coverage.
If you bought an individual policy early in your career, it’s possible that your income has grown and now your plan does not provide enough coverage to keep pace with your family’s standard of living.
It’s also possible that your current plan has a cap, or limit, on the monthly benefit it will pay.
If this is the case, rather than replace your current policy, we may actually recommend that you keep it. It’s most likely that you obtained this coverage when you were younger and healthier – so your rates could be advantageous.
If you tried to buy that same policy today, you would probably not be able to secure the same rate – and might not qualify for the same coverage.
So our advisors could recommend that you supplement your plan with an additional policy like the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan. This would provide you with a second, less expensive policy while you increase your total monthly benefit.
Get a Shorter Waiting Period
If you wish to supplement your disability insurance policy with additional coverage, it’s also important to consider the waiting period of both plans. This is the time you will wait to receive benefits – also known as the elimination period.
When many physicians purchase their first disability insurance plan, they select either a 90 or 180-day waiting period. Often, because those may have been the only options offered to them.
The TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan offers a shorter 30-day waiting period. So if you supplement your plan with the TMA Member Plan you could begin receiving benefits sooner – as you wait for your other policy to begin to pay benefits.
Again, because the TMA Member Plan is less expensive, it means you can more affordably increase the amount of your coverage – but with the shorter elimination period, you would not have to wait as long to receive benefits.
Pay Less as You Near Retirement
One reason the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan can cost less is because many individual plans typically come with own occupation benefits that are paid until the time of your retirement. The TMA Member Plan, on the other hand, has an own occupation benefit period of 10 years but will not be less than 60 months if one is nearing Social Security normal retirement age (SSNRA).
So if you are thinking about, or are getting close to retirement, you could supplement your current policy with the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan, to help provide the additional coverage you want – at a lower cost.
A 25% Thank You Credit
At TMA Insurance Trust we have long honored the sacrifice and dedication of our members. That is why we introduced a 25% Thank You Credit on the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan.
Now more than any other time in our history, we are grateful for your heroic service to your patients and your communities.
We recognize that the recent shelter-in-place environment may have created financial challenges for many physicians. So we want to encourage you to take advantage of the 25% Thank You Credit.
The credit equals 25% of your insurance premiums and is available to all members who enroll in the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan.* This means you’ll pay 25% less than our regular rates.
Coverage for Those Who Lost Benefits
We believe it is important for all TMA members to have a safety net in place to help provide income protection. If you are a full-time employee or an independent contractor and recently lost your coverage, we may be able to help.
The TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan allows members to apply for up to a $4,000/month benefit without any income verification – and regardless of any other coverage you may have.
Please contact our advisors about getting coverage now.
An Advisor Can Help You Choose
Is the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan the right fit for you? To find out, we invite you to speak with one of our experienced advisors.
They can provide quotes for both individual and group plan options. If you have a plan, they will review that coverage, and if it is right for you they will tell you so.
They do not receive any sales-based commissions, so there will never be any pressure or obligation. Their goal is to provide our members with the best possible coverage for their needs and budget.
Speak With An Advisor Today
We know that our members lead busy lives – now more than ever. So we have tried to make the application process for the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan easier and less time-consuming than applying for an individual policy.
At this challenging time, we are available to help review your disability insurance options and find a plan that works best for you and your family. Please don’t hesitate to contact an advisor toll-free at 1-800-880-8181, 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM Monday to Friday CST.
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.