Types of Disability Insurance Policies
Disability insurance could help dentists with important payments, such as student loans and mortgages, because it “provides [them] with a fixed income should [they] become sick or injured and unable [to] earn an income as [a] result of not working” (Schneider 2015; Nabity 2017). According to Colin Nabity, “the CEO and Founder of LeverageRx, an online lending and insurance marketplace exclusively for doctors,” “Estimates range from 25 percent to 30 percent of American workers will endure some type of temporary disability during their careers that will prevent them from working” (2017). Larry Schneider, “an insurance specialist exclusively specializing in disability insurance, with over 40 years of experience,” states, “The odds are one in four that a 35-year-old man (higher for women) will miss work more than 90 consecutive days due to an injury or illness. Many disabilities will last as long as five years, and others will last a lifetime” (2016c). Schneider recommends enrolling into a disability insurance plan as soon as possible “when it is financially feasible and practical” because “[health] can change, circumstances can change, all of which can affect eligibility” (2015). Dentists may encounter different types of insurance policies in their careers.
Different disability insurance policies contain their own rules and conditions. Nabity states that “[short-term] disability insurance is usually provided by employers and covers individuals, on average, for about six months,” while “[long-term] disability insurance policies are designed to protect people from illness or injury that keep them out of work for an extended period. Benefits may last from five to 10 years, and some will pay up until the insured reaches age 65” (2017). In addition to these policies, group disability insurance plans cover “a group of employees or members of a professional association” (Nabity 2017). Particularly, these policies “typically cost less than individual plans because insurance companies get to spread their risk over multiple insured individuals. At the same time, they generally offer less in benefits and are less secure” (Nabity 2017). So long as employees remain with their employers or organization and the policy is renewed by “the employer, organization or even the insurance company,” insurance will cover them (Nabity 2017). According to Schneider, “No laws require employers to offer long-term disability insurance, but the federal government has found that almost half of the medium sized to large employers surveyed provide long-term benefits for at least five years” (2016a). Individual plans benefit dentists that are “[their] own [employers]” because “[not] only will [they] not receive benefits from a group plan, [their] entire business may suffer if [they’re too] ill to remain in charge” (Schneider 2016b). If dentists “[change] jobs or… [their] professional membership status changes,” they can still keep their individual policies (Nabity 2017). Nabity points out, “Many professionals take advantage of a group plan while supplementing their coverage with their own individual policy” (2017).
Depending on their insurance policies, dentists follow certain regulations and receive coverage for a set amount of time.