Upcoming Disability Pricing Changes for Female Physicians

January 22, 2014

by Lauren Law Oschman, Financial Advisor at Larson Financial Group

Happy New Year! I hope you all were able to spend quality time with your families over the holidays and are looking forward to a great 2014. Many of you are headed into practice in just a few short months, so really between now and the fall is the time to be making sure that the foundation of your financial house is being laid to set up you for a solid financial future. You have probably heard from friends and colleagues, or from me in earlier blog posts, that you should be considering locking in a specialty-specific disability insurance policy before you finish your training.

There are some important changes coming for pricing of these policies for female physician only, and I wanted to share some information with you – considering your options in the next couple of months could save you quite a bit of money over the years you will have your coverage and I don’t want any of you to miss out just because you didn’t know!

I have provided a short Q&A below, and invite you to follow up with me so that we can discuss your options specifically BEFORE MARCH 31, 2014.

Why do I need disability insurance?

You have spent a lot of time and a lot of money investing in your career as a specialty physician. What would happen if you were sick or hurt and not able to work full time in your chosen specialty? How would you continue to support your family, feed your kids, and put money away for retirement?

Disability insurance can help bring you peace of mind that you and your family would be okay if you were suddenly unable to do your job. Most group policies on their own are not enough coverage, so physicians choose to supplement with an individual policy.

Why is disability insurance more expensive for females than for males?

Women are statistically more likely to file a disability claim than are men (men don’t go through pregnancy and childbirth), so disability carriers have to charge women more money, typically around 40% more, in order to cover those future claims.

What is meant by “unisex rates” and how many carriers offer this pricing structure?

“Unisex rates” are gender neutral, which means that males and females are charged the same price for the coverage. Currently, of the six carriers that offer specialty-specific physician coverage, only two of those offer competitive unisex rates for female residents and fellows at many universities around the country.

What is changing and when is the change occurring?

One of the competitive carriers that offers unisex pricing will be changing to gender-specific rates for any application submitted after March 31, 2014. This pricing increase can make your disability insurance cost at least 40% MORE for the SAME coverage. Your options will be severely limited if you apply for your coverage after April 1 of this year.

Why should I lock in my coverage now?

The policy you get in training will have an increase option on it so that you can purchase more coverage once you go into practice without having to do more medical exams. By locking in current unisex pricing, not only will you get the lower price point on your small resident/fellow policy, but you will keep the lower price point on all of your benefit increases in the future. Most physicians maintain some disability insurance coverage through their 50s, so this annual savings will really add up over time.

How can I take a look at my options?

The way you structure your coverage is very dependent on your individual family situation, career plans, and other factors – it is not going to be the same for everyone. Feel free to call me at 615.766.2677 or email me at [email protected] and I will be happy to set aside some time to go through your all of your policy options to help you figure out what the best plan of action is for you personally. There is no charge for a consultation to go through the options – you will just pay the premium for your policies should you choose to procure coverage. If you have questions, as always, let me know.

Advisory Services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.