The simple truth is that specialty physician groups need special treatment in order be fully protected from the financial hardships a disability can cause.
Although there are many reasons why, three stand out:
- Specialty group physicians are more vulnerable because an injury – say to a shoulder or a hand – can limit or preclude their ability to perform invasive procedures (especially for surgeons, anesthesiologists and invasive radiologists).
- Too many Long-Term Disability (LTD) contracts do not take into account all possible specialty group income streams such as K-1 distributions.
- Too many LTD contracts do not protect physicians based on a very specific and accurate definition of their specialty.
Finding the ideal LTD insurance for your specialty group usually begins with a conversation with an experienced insurance advisor who recognizes the unique vulnerability of your specialty.
If your group is purchasing LTD for the first time, your advisor will provide a strong proposal with an “apples-to-apples” comparison, highlighting any significant differences between policies and insurance companies.
If your group is already covered, it’s often very advantageous to work with an insurance advisor to compare your existing insurance to the latest policies available. Ideally, your advisor is proactive when it comes to informing you of the potentially positive or negative impacts that changes in the insurance industry can have on your coverage. At a bare minimum, your advisor should review your changing circumstances and explore new opportunities with you on an annual basis.
The WisMed Advantage
At WisMed Assure, our only business and our sole focus is serving health care professionals. Our team has decades of experience and a deep understanding of your concerns, aspirations and opportunities. By leveraging the shared wisdom and collective buying power of the many physicians and health care professionals we serve, WisMed Assure is able to deliver preferred service, terms and – in many cases – better pricing.
Here are some of the important features we provide that are of particular importance to physicians:
- We protect physicians’ own specialty by using the CPT-10 codes they have billed for during the last 12 months to identify their “own occupation.” This is unusual. Many contracts have weaker language.
- Our program typically pays claims for 6 months longer to doctors over age 60. This is of value to senior physicians who are the most likely to go on claim.
- Because our sole focus is physicians, there is an unusually deep understanding of the income, such as K-1 distributions for specialty groups owned wholly or partially by the physicians in the group… income that goes away if they cannot practice.
- Our plans do not have the subjective provisions often seen in other contracts, such as working to maximum capacity, part-time work requirements or prudent person language. When these provisions are in other LTD products, it can allow a carrier to prematurely terminate a claim or reduce expected benefits.
- We can bring you a host of riders to choose from based on your unique circumstances and needs including:
- Infectious diseases, including the COVID-19 virus.
- Progressive illnesses. Some contracts don’t pay until there is a 20% income loss in one year, whereas ours pays as soon as there is a 20% income loss from the time of diagnosis. This is unusual.
- Extended earnings for physicians coming back after an extended illness. This rider is important for those who bill and must wait for receivables.
- Pension contribution payments can also be covered.
- Additionally, we offer ancillary coverage for things like travel assistance and identity theft protection.
While price isn’t everything, in most cases, specialty groups can expect an extra 5% discount for working with us.
One more thing: WisMed Assure not only works for you directly; we serve the health care community at large as all our profits support the Wisconsin Medical Society.
If you want to discuss any of the features discussed here, or if you want your disability insurance to be an ideal fit for your group’s unique needs, situation and concerns, contact me.
Group Disability Specialist
How to get ideal long-term disability for your specialty group
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