Disability Insurance for Resident Physicians

Most physicians begin the process of obtaining their individual physician disability insurance during their residency/fellowship. The following brief guide will help you know what to look for in your search for the best plan available.

Naturally, we are often approached with the question: “What is the best disability insurance for resident physicians?”

Since determining which physician disability insurance plan is best for a resident physician depends on the particulars of the resident in question, I will instead describe essential features every resident physician should look for in the plans they are considering. Contact us should you have any questions about the plans you are considering.

1. Non-cancelable and Guaranteed Renewable

-This means the policy cannot be canceled by the insurance company. It also means the policy’s benefits cannot be altered by the company or the premium increased. This puts you in complete control of the plan and ensures you will pay a level rate until retirement age.

2. Specialty Specific Own Occupation Definition of Disability

-As a highly educated professional, it is important that your disability benefit is not reduced or eliminated if you are able to work while disabled from your medical specialty. It is also important that the plan includes medical specialty contractual language and not just

3. Partial Disability Benefit

-This benefit is mandatory in some states. Most disabilities either start or end on a partial basis. The majority of disabilities are illnesses and those tend to reduce your ability to work on a full-time basis before you are totally unable to work in your medical specialty. The partial disability benefit also allows you to continue receiving benefits while you gradually transition back to full time practice.

4. Future Increase/Purchase Option 

-This option allows you to increase your monthly benefit in the future with no medical requirements as long as your income qualifies. It also protects against any future risk class changes made by the company. This provision is essential for ALL residents/fellows since the monthly benefit you are able to establish during residency/fellowship is unlikely to still be adequate once you receive your attending physician income.

There are other benefits available that are commonly offered to residents. Some of these options are not cost-effective and are best utilized as ancillary benefits. If you would like a more in-depth look at some of these options download out resident/fellow disability insurance guide.