3 Myths About Disability Income Insurance for Medical Residents

Posted by on Mar 12, 2024 2:33:48 PM

As a medical resident, you may have disability income insurance through your employer. It is important that you understand the type of disability income insurance that your employer is providing you to determine if it meets your needs.

Oftentimes, disability insurance provided to you through an employer is not portable, meaning that your coverage terminates upon leaving your residency. You may wish to consider replacing your employer-provided disability insurance coverage with an individual disability income insurance policy that can grow with you and may be a better solution for your needs as you leave residency and your career develops.

Today, we’ll tackle the myths surrounding disability income insurance for medical residents as well as how to build a strong insurance foundation for your future.


Common Medical Resident Disability Income Insurance Myths

Myth: Every Disability Income Insurance Policy Is the Same

The Truth: Different insurance policies may have different options. For example, riders help you personalize your coverage details. 

Relevant Disability Income Insurance Riders for Medical Residents

Own Occupation Rider

An own occupation rider is a contract feature in which you may be covered should you become disabled and cannot perform the occupational duties in which you are trained and are currently performing as a medical resident. 

Keep in mind an own occupation definition of total disability may or may not be included in the base policy. It’s important to check policy details to understand if an own occupation rider as part of an individual disability income insurance policy could help strengthen your protection.

Partial Disability Rider

The partial disability rider — also called a residual disability rider — may offer coverage if you are unable to work at full capacity but can still perform some of your duties. 

For example, if an individual were to start their own practice after residency and were to develop cancer, they may be eligible for coverage under the partial disability rider while they undergo treatment and are only able to work a few times a week. 

Future Insurability Option Rider

A future insurability option rider is important for those early on in their medical career. As you progress throughout your career, your income will typically increase. A Future Insurability Option Rider may allow you to increase your coverage in the future as your income increases but without regard to any changes in your medical history.

 Other riders that could be added to a disability income insurance policy may include a cost of living rider and the catastrophic disability rider.

Myth: The Coverage You Already Have Is Enough

The Truth: Since your policy should be tailored to fit your specific situation and goals, group coverage through your employer may not be sufficient. You may be eligible to add an individual disability policy. If you consider an individual policy now, you may be able to take advantage of discounts an insurance company may offer specifically to residents.

How an Individual Policy Works

Individual disability income insurance coverage is not tied to your residency program. Instead, this policy can follow you throughout your career and may help to protect your livelihood in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Your policy protects your ability to generate an income; therefore, your compensation will affect the scope and size of the coverage you buy. You will also be able to establish a relationship with your chosen insurance company so that you can adjust your coverage as you grow your career. 

It is recommended that you speak with an advisor to determine what can set you up for success.

Myth: Disability Income Insurance Is All You Need for Your Medical Residency

The Truth: Disability income insurance is critical for safeguarding your livelihood, but other insurance policies can help you build a solid foundation of coverage for your future. 

Insurance To Consider for Medical Residents

Additional insurance to consider may include:

  • Individual professional liability (if you are moonlighting or entering into practice)
  • Personal life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Home and auto insurance

As your career progresses, your insurance needs will likely evolve. However, ensuring you have comprehensive coverage early on can provide peace of mind so you can focus on completing your residency program and establishing yourself as a medical professional. 


Truth: Disability Income Insurance Is Necessary for Doctors at Every Career Stage

Whether you are just beginning your residency program or you are nearing the finish line, we suggest that you take a look at your disability income insurance options to determine what you may need and when you may need it, both now and throughout your career. 

To find out more, speak with one of our experienced advisors today.

About Treloar & Heisel

Treloar & Heisel, an EPIC Company, is a premier financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. We assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement with a comprehensive suite of financial services, custom-tailored advice, and a strong national network focused on delivering the highest level of service. 

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