Stories from the field – individual vs physician group disability insurance

We recently met with a Pathologist fellow to review physician disability insurance. During the meeting, his wife revealed that her uncle is a vascular surgeon and became disabled due to a stroke. They explained that it was a struggle for him to receive benefits since his physician group disability insurance policy changed 5 times over his 20+ year career. This was their chief concern about the disability insurance policies we had presented. We used this as an opportunity to highlight the important differences between group and individual physician disability insurance policies. We have reproduced some of the key differences below:

-Group policies are contracts between an employer and the insurance company. As such, the plan can be terminated or provisions modified. Individual policies are contracts between an individual and the insurance company. As such, only the individual can cancel/modify the policy.

-Group policies are not portable between employers. Individual policies stay with you when changing employers/occupations.

-Group policy benefits are reduced by work earnings and other benefits received. Individual policy benefits pay the full benefit if one becomes disabled from their specialty regardless of earnings/benefits received while disabled (like consulting/side contracts)

If you work for an employer who provides group disability insurance, contact us for a complimentary analysis between your group’s plan and the comprehensive individual plans on the marketplace today! Also, learn more about physician disability insurance by downloading our 5 minute guide to DI!