Radiologists have unique physician disability insurance needs. They are considered one of the lower-risk medical specialties, so radiologists pay less for physician disability insurance. Radiologists are often-times employed in single specialty groups of radiologists. Due to this, they usually have employer paid disability coverage. Many radiologists are aware of the limitations of such plans, and contact us in order to explore their options. The following are 4 key guidelines to follow when exploring disability insurance for radiologists.
- You may not need “own occupation” protection. If you become disabled and unable to practice radiology, then it is likely your disability will not allow you to able to work in another occupation. Therefore, you may not need to pay for the gold standard “own occupation” definition of disability.
- Your employer-provided disability insurance is likely inadequate for your needs. Most employer provided plans pay a specified percentage of covered earnings up to a cap $15,000/month. Radiologists are a higher-earning medical specialty, if some radiologists earn in excess of $400,000 per year. With employer paid disability insurance of 60% to a maximum of $15,000/month, a radiologist earning $400,000 per year is significantly underinsured. Also keep in mind that generally employer paid plans are taxable as income, so that $15,000/month will be cut roughly in half, creating an even larger insurance gap.
- A residual/partial disability benefit is critical. All disabilities either start or end as partial claims, and as a radiologist, you are more likely to become partially disabled than totally disabled. Make sure you are protected if you are unable to spend as much time in the reading room due to an illness or injury.
- A future increase/benefit option is important. With the changing landscape of radiology, it is important you are protected in the event you lose any employer-provided disability insurance, or if you reach partner status and your income increases accordingly.