(Note: I receive no compensation if you use DI4MDs for your insurance needs. I continue to lose $99 per year on this blog.)
Disability insurance which protects military physicians and dentist’s greatest asset continues to be a very limited market with few insurance companies and agents providing this critical protection. The available plan options depend on which stage of your medical/dental career you are in.
For military physicians and dentists at any stage of their medical career, MassMutual will provide the recommended specialty specific / own occupation disability coverage. MassMutual continues to be the only company that offers a non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable policy to age 65 and is the first policy we recommend. This policy is now available in all states.
For military physicians and dentists who have completed training, Lloyd’s is also available and can work well as a supplement to MassMutual coverage or if there is a medical issue. However, the policy does not contain the same premium and renewability guarantees as MassMutual’s policy.
If you are a resident or fellow and are at least 60 days away from graduating, in addition to MassMutual another option is a policy with Ameritas. However, you should be aware that Ameritas does not cover disabilities resulting from military service when scheduled active duty is more than 3 months. You do have the option of suspending the policy. Suspending the policy locks in your current insurability but does not provide any coverage during the suspension (though no premiums would be due either).
If you are in medical school and more than 180 days away from starting a military residency, in addition to MassMutual and Ameritas you will be able to apply for a policy with Standard. However, Standard will not cover disabilities resulting from military training, action, or conflict. Like Ameritas, you have the option of suspending the policy. Principal and Guardian may also be available if you are still in medical school. However, unlike the voluntary suspension option with Ameritas and Standard, Principal and Guardian require that your policy be suspended once you enter active duty. All medical students can obtain disability coverage without income qualification.
One crucial fact to be aware of when obtaining disability coverage is the medical underwriting requirement. Since military medical exams are extremely thorough and document any medical condition it is important to establish coverage early in your medical career before any conditions or ailments appear. Depending on the medical condition you may be declined coverage, issued a policy with a waiver/exclusion for the pre-existing condition(s) or issued with an increased premium. Even a combination of the latter two is possible. This can be avoided if you apply now so you can have the protection you need later. A policy with an option that will allow you to purchase additional coverage in the future regardless of health can be established to fit any budget. A graded premium structure can also be used to reduce the initial premium outlay for residents and medical students.
There is no better time than now to establish the type of policy you need to protect your medical or dental career in the event of disability. Please contact us below to begin:
DI4MDS – Andy Borgia, CLU and D.K. Unger – www.DI4MDS.com
10505 Sorrento Valley Rd., #250
San Diego, CA 92121
858-523-7511 or 858-523-7529 after 5pm PT