Selecting Your Disability Insurance Policies – Reviewing Your Disability Insurance Needs

Physicians and other medical professionals have a lot to consider when selecting a disability insurance policy. As your career and medical practice develop, it is a good idea to periodically take stock of your needs in disability insurance policies to make sure you have appropriate coverage. Disability insurance benefits provide financial security when doctors are unable to work, including replacement income streams or protection to a physician’s practice in the form of business overhead expense insurance. Your disability insurance benefits can include a variety of provisions that are beneficial to doctors and other healthcare providers in particular. For example, the any occupation vs. own occupation definitions in disability insurance policies can be very important to medical professionals since their disabilities may preclude them from performing the material duties of their specialized medical profession, but an insurance adjuster could find the claimant able to do other work. A disability insurance attorney can help you with claims that fall into this category.

You may obtain coverage through your employment or through private, individual disability insurance policies. The important thing is that you understand the disability insurance coverage you are buying and that you are contracting with your disability insurance company to meet your financial needs should you become disabled and unable to maintain your medical career. Your disability insurance agents will be a good resource in reviewing your coverage and policies, but your disability insurance lawyer is also a valuable resource.

If you find yourself disabled and unable to practice medicine, obtaining your disability insurance benefits will be something you want to handle quickly. However, disability insurance companies may not be so quick to send you your disability insurance benefit payments. If you encounter any issues with receiving your rightful disability insurance benefits, you need to contact a disability insurance lawyer. Seltzer & Associates represents clients seeking disability insurance benefits under short-term disability, long-term disability, group disability, and private disability policies. We are here to serve our clients’ needs and help them secure the disability insurance benefits they deserve.

Physician Group Disability Insurance Plans Through Employers

Physicians who are employed by a hospital or practice group may be offered group disability insurance as part of their employment package. Depending on the practice these offerings may include short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, or both. Each type of insurance policy comes with its own requirements that affect making a claim for disability insurance benefits. If you own a practice that employs other medical professionals, you will also need to decide on what coverage options you will have available for your employees, what they can purchase as part of employment benefits and what they would need to seek completely on their own.

Employer-sponsored long-term disability insurance policies are often governed by ERISA, a federal statute. ERISA claims can quickly become complex due to the federal law and involvement of the federal courts. Timelines for taking action, federal lawsuits, and specifications on the scope of damages allowed under ERISA make these disputes different from your regular disability insurance claims process. Due to these complexities, ERISA matters are best handled by an experienced ERISA disability attorney. Seltzer & Associates has ample experience with ERISA disability cases and will make sure you are informed throughout the process. 

Individual Disability Insurance for Doctors

While group disability insurance is a great start to protecting your financial well-being, there are certain limitations to benefits received, such as policy exclusions or caps on benefits. As an individual, you may anticipate needing more disability insurance coverage than what your employer provides. You can seek out additional disability insurance coverage through a private, individual disability policy. These work in conjunction with your other disability insurance benefits to provide financial security when you are unable to work and earn an income due to disability, but you should be aware that some contracts and policies contain provisions that mandate offsets or repayments when there are additional income replacement sources available to insureds.

You may want to seek additional benefits to supplement the gap in lost income from what your other coverage provides, extended policy coverage timeframes, or coverage for special circumstances. This truly all depends on your personal needs and what you are willing to contract for to mitigate your financial risk if you become disabled.

Review Your Expenses and Income to Select the Right Disability Insurance Coverage

When it comes to selecting the right amount and types of disability insurance coverage, you want to have an idea of the regular income you earn as well as the regular expenses you need to have covered while you are disabled, such as housing, food, and other routine bills. You do not want to forget about additional medical expenses that could be associated with a disability, though this is more difficult to predict. There are many plans available and you will make the best choice while balancing these interests with the premiums charged for coverage. If you have business expenses related to your medical career, you want to consider these too when selecting your disability insurance policies.

Business Overhead Expense Disability Insurance for Doctors

Doctors with their own medical practices also need to consider how certain business expenses will be covered if they become disabled and are unable to earn income. This is where a business overhead expense disability insurance policy can help maintain the business while you are disabled. This is a policy you do not want to forget about if you are opening a new practice or developing a current practice so that operations can continue as best as possible in your absence for your patients and employees.

Consult with a Disability Insurance Attorney

If you have questions about your disability insurance coverage and the legal aspects of disability insurance claims, you should consult with a disability insurance attorney. Any issues with receiving your disability insurance benefits should be addressed by your attorney. You can contact Seltzer & Associates for a free consultation by completing our contact form or calling 888-699-4222.