You have worked incredibly hard to be where you are in your career and at the end of training your income will normally spike exponentially and therefore it must be understood that your greatest asset is your ability to earn an income. It is paramount for your financial well-being that you protect yourself and your income today and into the future as many companies provide disability insurance for residents and fellows that can help you safeguard that asset. It is mandated that you must insure a car with car insurance, a home with homeowner’s insurance, but your income can be left vulnerable. It is paramount for your financial future that you work towards protecting yourself. with an individual disability insurance policy that will protect your income today and into the future.

Understanding The Definition of Disability

As a physician, the definition of disability that you would desire inside an individual plan would be that if you couldn’t perform the material and substantial duties of your specialty you would be deemed disabled and could make a claim.  This is called a true own occupation definition and it affords you the opportunity to work in a different profession after a claim is made if you are able. For example: if you perform any surgical procedures and you lose the ability to use one of your hands you would be able to make a claim for your individual disability insurance benefits. If your policy has a true own occupation definition then you could choose to work elsewhere, receive an income from the new profession and receive the individual disability insurance benefits. Your disability may arise out of a physical injury, illness, or mental health diagnosis. Each individual disability insurance company views a mental health disorder differently, so it is crucial that you work with a qualified insurance planning firm that can help you understand the terms and definitions listed in your specific disability insurance policy while you are still in training.

What if I Am Sick or Injured and I Can’t Work Full Time?

As part of an individual policy, you have the right to include a rider that protects you against a “partial” claim. Each individual disability insurance company offers this rider and some call it an enhanced partial rider and some refer to it as a residual rider. If you were to become sick or injured and you couldn’t perform your duties as a physician on a full-time basis then you could make a residual claim. This means that you must show a loss of income of at least 15 or 20%, depending on the company, and then the insurance would provide benefits based on this loss of income. It is important to note that this protection is only provided through a rider, so working with a disability insurance professional during your residency or fellowship would prove to be helpful when navigating this space.

Contact Us to Learn More about Disability Insurance for Residents and Fellows

You are extremely unique because your risk factor for a disability as a physician is much higher than individuals who are not working in the medical field. Therefore, the precise definition of disability in your plan will determine your available benefits. Our team can help you understand the nuances of disability insurance for residents and fellows and craft a plan that best fits your needs. Reach out to us today to learn more about the language in your individual disability insurance plan. Optional riders are available for an additional premium. Some policy benefits and features are not available to all occupations.