Life is lived in stages. You could say the same is true for the career of a physician.
In a broad sense, a physician’s career can be divided into three stages – early, middle and later. Each of these stages can bring rewards and achievements. But at the same time each comes with vulnerabilities – especially with regard to our health.
At Every Stage – A Need For Disability Insurance
Regardless of where we are in our career, there is always a risk of an unexpected injury or illness that could keep us from working. The sobering fact is that if you were a 20-year-old today you would have a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.*
That is why for most physicians, disability insurance is considered essential protection – for themselves and for their families.
If you cannot work for an extended period of time – because of an illness or injury – disability insurance can help replace lost income and provide valuable protection for your finances.
We developed the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan so it can be valuable for every physician – at every stage of their career. Here are ways it can be right for you:
Essential Coverage At The Start Of Your Career
When you are in the early stages of your career, chances are, you are repaying student loans and starting a family. This can consume a large portion of your financial resources.
TMA Insurance Trust wants to help young physicians establish their career on a firm financial foundation. We can help you secure your own long term disability insurance at a cost that is typically more affordable than individual disability insurance.
Even if you have disability insurance provided by your employer, we still advise getting your own coverage. This can be beneficial as you proceed through the various stages of your career.
If you need to collect the benefits due to illness or injury, the benefit from a plan paid for by your employer would be taxed as income at a time when you would need the full benefit the most. That would not be the case with the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan – where the benefit would be tax-free. (Please consult with a professional about your tax liability.)
A Plan That Is Portable
Another valuable feature for a young physician is our Student Loan Reimbursement benefit – worth up to $250,000 – offered at no additional cost to members. This could help you make your student loan payments if you become disabled and are unable to work.
Also important for a young physician, if you move from your current employer to another employment situation or perhaps open a practice, you could lose your employer-provided plan – leaving you with a gap in coverage. The TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan is portable – so it can follow you wherever your career takes you or as long as you remain a member.
As Your Income Grows So Should Your Coverage
By mid-career, it’s likely that your income – and your family – have grown. It is now especially important that you protect what you have worked so hard to achieve.
Some insurance agents or analysts may tell you that you need coverage for only 60%-65% of your salary to live on if you are disabled. Their rationale is that when you cannot work and are recovering, your expenses may be less then when you are working.
In many cases, employer-provided plans place a cap on benefits – typically $10,000/month.
If you couldn’t work would that be enough to pay for your family’s living expenses – which could include monthly mortgage and loan payments, school for your children, household bills, and much more? Would you be able to maintain the lifestyle you and your family are used to living? Probably not.
$4,000 a Month Coverage – With No Income Verification
That is why, even if you currently have disability insurance, we recommend the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan – as a supplement to your current coverage.
You can get a benefit of up to $4000/month without having to verify your income – and regardless of any other coverage you may already have.
This could provide a substantial increase in financial protection and help you meet your family’s living expenses – which have likely grown since you first obtained disability insurance.
No Tax On Your Benefit
Also, as mentioned above, if you are receiving disability insurance paid for by your employer, the benefit from that coverage could be taxed as income.
The benefit from the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan is tax-free since you will be funding it with after-tax premium payments. So it could help offset the tax deficit on the benefit from your employer-paid plan. (Please speak with a professional about your tax liability.)
Increased Health Risks May Need Increased Protection
As a physician with many years of experience you may now have a larger income as well as substantial savings and retirement funds you wish to protect.
At the same time, your health may be more vulnerable to “wear and tear” injuries, which can be a natural part of aging. An injury of this nature could diminish your ability to work, if not keep you from practicing entirely.
And the last thing you need at this time is to have to draw from your savings or retirement accounts.
10-Year “Own Occupation” Benefit to Lower Costs
The TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan was designed to be affordable, since you may be considering retirement in the near future.
One way we have been able to keep costs lower is by offering a 10-year “own occupation” benefit. This can provide an adequate “cushion of time” while providing additional income protection until you are ready to retire.
It comes with a simple application and a lower cost when compared to most individual long term disability plans.
Every Member Pays 25% Less
At TMA Insurance Trust we value all our members and always seek ways to help them protect what matters most in their personal and professional lives. To that end, we are pleased to offer every member a 25% Thank You Credit.
This means your premium payments for the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan will be 25% less** – which could effectively save you thousands of dollars over the life of your policy.
A Special Note to Women Physicians
We also honor the hard work and dedication of all our women physicians. And we believe you deserve the best opportunities to protect your finances and your career.
But if you have ever explored purchasing your own disability insurance, you may have observed that the rates for women may be different than the rates for male physicians. This is common practice in the insurance industry.
Please note that the premium rates for the TMA Member Long Term Disability Plan are not based on gender. So you may find the rates are lower when compared to other individual disability plans.
And remember, our “unisex” group rates are made even more affordable with the 25% Thank You Credit. So your disability insurance premiums could end up being significantly lower than you might have imagined.
Unbiased Advice at Any Stage
We invite you to speak with one of our advisors who will be happy to answer your questions and help you get a plan that’s right for you – at any stage of your career.
Remember, our advisors are on your side. They do not work for sales-based commissions so there will never be any pressure of sense of obligation.
You can contact a TMA Insurance Trust advisor for assistance toll-free at 1-800-880-8181, 7:30 am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday CST.
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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.