Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

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RadiologyDoctor
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Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by RadiologyDoctor » Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:47 pm

Unfortunately, I cannot qualify for individual disability insurance do to a pre-existing condition. I can't get a clear reason why I can't get a policy offered with a rider to exclude the pre-existing condition. I'm a radiologist, and I'm particularly concerned about losing my vision or something else catastrophic like that, really stuff that isn't related to the chronic, well-managed pre-existing condition.

Despite all the good advice from whitecoatinvestor (including a post about AMA affiliated insurance for individuals that required NO underwriting...I do not qualify for that do to my current institutional affiliation) and bogleheads posts, I'm now resigned after underwriting processes which have extended through much of 2014 to the fact that I cannot get individual disability insurance. The question is: how do I go forward from here?

I'm a senior resident right now with zero debt. My wife is also a physician, and has been an attending for the past year who makes approximately 200k/yr. We have only a small six figure nest egg at this time, but we do have a good emergency fund and adequate family support if financial disaster were to arise. Although we could survive on her income alone, my fear is that a disability on my part could potentially force her to work more than she would like to assure that my care needs would be attended to. I.e. she might have to work longer/harder than she would otherwise. Certainly we hope to save enough in the coming years to self-insure, but I'm worried that a major disability in the next 10 years could leave us quite vulnerable.

Aside from aggressive saving and attempting to maximize group DI coverage, is there any additional steps I should take? I realize my situation may not be as dismal as others since I do have no debt and have a spouse who will likely have a long-standing healthy income, but my conservative nature and the constant calls by WCI and others that physicians need DI has me quite worked up over my inability to get coverage.

Big Worm
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by Big Worm » Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:59 pm

The insurance companies play hardball in cases like this. Depending on your clinical situation, the insurance companies may or may not understand the position you are in. It doesn't matter though. You have been pegged as having excessive risk that they are not willing to shoulder (fair or not). If you have applied and been officially denied then supposedly your name is on a list that the companies can view if you apply again ("black list").

I would try and get a policy from your current academic institution. There probably is an insurance guy there that works with residents. It may not be the best policy in the world but at least it is something. Probably would be the highest standard policy without a medical screening exam.

The next thing is to find a job when you graduate that offers disability insurance. Again it may not be the best in the world but at least it is something. Academics, large stable groups and hospital employed positions may be your best bet. Private practice medicine is dwindling fast although this is also an option.

Or you could try Lloyd's of London. I have heard they will insure anything albeit at ridiculously expensive premiums.

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neurosphere
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by neurosphere » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:29 pm

Hi Rad Doc. I empathize with your situation, in that my wife did not qualify for disability insurance due to a silly event in her medical history which (in my opinion as a physician) does NOT increase her chances of any disability personally, but which excludes her from coverage.

First off, my advice to you is NOT TO STRESS that you can't get individual DI. It's admirable that you have heeded the advice to pursue this type of insurance in the first place. You understand the implications of disability. You and your wife have the resources to plan for the worst, and to make this plan without the benefits of a conventional individual DI policy.

First off, as you correctly noted, you will be able to self-insure after a period of time. With aggressive savings over the next X years, you can build up a pile of money which will mitigate the effects somewhat of a disability later in life. So what do you do in the meantime? You've already been given good advice. First, maximize any group DI you might be eligible for. Some employers provide a base amount, and then you can purchase additional group coverage, sometimes with no underwriting. Also, some large employers allow for elective accidental death and disability coverage. While this will only cover you in the event of an "accidental" disability (as opposed to a medical condition) it will provide you with some lump sum amount in the event your disability is caused by an accident. Typically, these policies are not a good idea because the coverage is narrow. But they are cheap (because the coverage is narrow) and allow you to partially fill a hole due to the lack of an individual DI policy.

But mostly I'm advising to RELAX. Do your homework, see what options are available, but do not let this issue cause you undue stress. The reason that people like me, and sites like WCI scream BUY DI! BUY DI! is because the majority of MDs don't stop to think about this issue. MDs have the resources to protect their investment (of time and money and brain) in their future income stream, and to neglect this opportunity out of ignorance would be a shame. But you have heeded the call, realize the issue, and will be able to find a workaround. You will save more than otherwise in your early years hopefully. And in the long run, if you are lucky enough to have a healthy, long, productive earning career, you may come out way ahead, when your disability never materializes, and your thus giant emergency/DI fund morphs into your retirement account and increases your standard of living in retirement compared to your peers who spend all their earnings early in their career and were caught unprepared for retirement. :D

Neurosphere

epictetus
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by epictetus » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:38 pm

does your wife have physician disability insurance? if she can get it that would go a long way in insuring your family can make it in the early years if something unexpected happened to both of you early on. and hopefully the odds of something unexpected happening to both of you that would prevent both of you from working are very small.
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Jack
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by Jack » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:35 pm

Why do so many doctors buy disability insurance? Only of tiny percentage of the population buys disability insurance and I'm guessing most of them are doctors. Most everyone else manages to get along without it. It seems to be one of the many financial products designed to get money out of doctors.

traumadoc77
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by traumadoc77 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:47 pm

Buying disability insurance was pretty bad for me, it is so invasive and impersonable... I had a couple preexisting conditions that they make you feel like crap about. I got an own-occ policy from Guardian but due to the preexisting conditions they will only pay out for 5 years. It is ~750$ a month and only 5 years of coverage. The kicker is that that they totally excluded the preexisting condition from being covered at all, but still put the 5 year max on the policy. If I get hit by a car and disabled they will only pay for 5 years... since I had x problem that is totally unrelated. Very frustrating but better than nothing I guess :confused

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Taylor Larimore
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Is disability insurance necessary?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:57 pm

I'm worried that a major disability in the next 10 years could leave us quite vulnerable.

RadiologyDoctor:

You and your wife are both doctors. Either one of you should be able to earn a comfortable living for the family if one should become disabled.

I'm not convinced you need to pay for expensive disability insurance even if it were available.

It seldom pays to buy insurance we don't need.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

lululu
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by lululu » Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:30 pm

I think you are stressing out unnecessarily.

You and your wife have no debt. She makes $200K a year. If you stopped working right this minute and she were able to continue working (or had disability and life insurance) you both would be okay.

You probably would not be living at the financial level you expect two doctors to live at, but you would have a very comfortable life.

So she might have to work longer that she would like. The world if full of people doing that. I don't see any reason why she couldn't take a reasonable early retirement and your family would still be financially sound.

Meanwhile, you are not disabled, and you both can save like squirrels.

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Watty
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by Watty » Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:53 pm

I'm a senior resident right now with zero debt. My wife is also a physician, and has been an attending for the past year who makes approximately 200k/yr.


With no debt you could afford to retire very comfortably relatively young on only her income if you had to.

I might involve a more moderate lifestyle and moving to an area with a more reasonable cost of living but it would not be a real hardship.

RadiologyDoctor
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by RadiologyDoctor » Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:25 pm

thank you all for the reassurances. For context, a family friend in her 30s recently suffered a major, unexpected neurological event; she is alive and cognitively well, but now has recurring seizures which have kept her 100% disabled. She had inadequate DI coverage (group only, she's a nonphysician now-former breadwinner) and the financial stresses are making a psychologically difficult situation for the family much worse, despite the fact that they are "getting by" on the spouse's income.

Perhaps my biggest fear is that in addition to the awful occurrence of a disability, my family would be much less stable financially.

p_qrs_t
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by p_qrs_t » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:52 pm

Jack wrote:Why do so many doctors buy disability insurance? Only of tiny percentage of the population buys disability insurance and I'm guessing most of them are doctors. Most everyone else manages to get along without it. It seems to be one of the many financial products designed to get money out of doctors.

My ability to work and generate an income is my single most important asset. If I am no longer able to work, most of the rest of my financial planning goes down the tubes. Moreover, even if I am able to work, but not work in my area, my income will drop precipitously. In my particular area of medicine, orthopedic injuries are commonplace, and a major reason for early retirement. I think a small sum toward ensuring that if I am forced to retire, my income is not completely wiped out is not unreasonable...

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dm200
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by dm200 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:19 pm

Observation from a non-physician -

I suspect that so few employed individuals purchase disability insurance is that most are probably employed by corporations or organizations that provide coverage to employees. I suspect that a great many physicians are not covered by employer plans. My guess is that difference may be a reason that so many physicians purchase (or try to purchase) insurance.

One thing that almost any employed individual (up to probably about age 66) can do to provide disability protection is purchase credit disability insurance on loans. It is not cheap, BUT almost always has very minimal pre-existing condition exclusions - as long as the borrower is working 25 hours a week or more.

Herekittykitty
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by Herekittykitty » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:52 pm

With just one physician income and living below one's means yet still comfortably, a couple can become very well off within not that many years. You may want to consider saving and investing one entire income and pretending it just isn't there at all, while budgeting on one income and saving and investing from that one income in such a way as to become well off within not too many years if that were the only income. Learn well from the Bogleheads - and White Coat Investor (a Boglehead). At some point you will find that you and your wife are wealthy. As that happens, you can gradually move up in lifestyle until you get to the point you want to be.

In fact - the above advice is very good advice even not considering the disability income issue.

So don't build wealth from a place of worry. Build it because it can be fun to be so much in control of your finances and because building wealth will give you and your family options you could not have otherwise. Consider it icing on the cake that in the course of learning about and putting into practices sound financial principles leading to wealth building you will end up self insuring anyway.

If you are struck with a disability between now and then - as Taylor says, you will still be fine as one physician's income properly managed can build wealth for a family (as with White Coat Investor). In the meantime, do what all of us should be doing, which is maintaining health and not taking up risky habits, which will have the side benefit of reducing the risk of becoming disabled.

In other words - decide to build wealth starting now and with the intent of having the option for either or both of you to retire young should you choose. Control those health and risk factors that you can control. And do those things because they will lead to a better life in any circumstance.

Relax. Enjoy.

It looks like you are off to a great start.
I don't know anything.

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JonnyDVM
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by JonnyDVM » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:00 pm

Individual disability insurance is way overpriced IMO. I'm really getting tired of the hefty monthly payments we make. I wouldn't stress about it too much. If you truly won't be able to sleep at night without one take a job as an employee rather than an independent contractor with an employer that offers group disability. It's not quite as good, but it's certainly better than not being covered at all.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

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interplanetjanet
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by interplanetjanet » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:15 am

dm200 wrote:One thing that almost any employed individual (up to probably about age 66) can do to provide disability protection is purchase credit disability insurance on loans. It is not cheap, BUT almost always has very minimal pre-existing condition exclusions - as long as the borrower is working 25 hours a week or more.

Are there any good places to shop for this? Even just trying to find out who issues it and what they sell exactly (life/disability, bare disability, ?) has been difficult. My mortgage is by far my largest single expense.

ks289
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by ks289 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:37 am

I echo you initial thoughts and the other posters' ideas about optimizing group disability offerings and aggressively saving to achieve self insured status.
I would also consider ways to broaden your career, skills, and responsibilities as much as possible. Being clinically active while being involved in leadership or administration or teaching can help minimize the impact of limits to being able to practice full time.

lululu
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by lululu » Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:47 am

ks289 wrote:I echo you initial thoughts and the other posters' ideas about optimizing group disability offerings and aggressively saving to achieve self insured status.
I would also consider ways to broaden your career, skills, and responsibilities as much as possible. Being clinically active while being involved in leadership or administration or teaching can help minimize the impact of limits to being able to practice full time.


The OP could be disabled in various ways also and still practice his profession. For example, having to be in a wheelchair would not seem to rule this out.

BigTom
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by BigTom » Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:48 am

Jack wrote:Why do so many doctors buy disability insurance? Only of tiny percentage of the population buys disability insurance and I'm guessing most of them are doctors. Most everyone else manages to get along without it. It seems to be one of the many financial products designed to get money out of doctors.


I assume when you make the money a doctor makes, you would want to protect that income. With an average income if $50k per year across the nation it's likely a bunch of them don't think it's worth it , and the other bunch just doesn't even think about it .

I personally in a similar situation . I am looking for DI for my wife and I . Due to my job it was difficult to find a DI plan that would cover me . I am a mechanic . I only got 2 companies that would insure me and only for ten year benefit , a few for 5 year benefit . Have you looked into maybe a different company or less of a benefit time period . My policies have the social security rider , it's the only way they will insure me that long , I can get rid of that but only for 5 years . The company I will likely take the policy from is Mutual of Omaha , the other was MetLife . I can get a 5 year through standard but rather have the 10 year .

Have you tried seeing if you took less of a benefit ? Ie like less then 60% of your pay .

lululu
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by lululu » Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:50 am

p_qrs_t wrote:In my particular area of medicine, orthopedic injuries are commonplace, and a major reason for early retirement.


If i were in such a situation, I would be trotting off to a physical therapist as a preventative measure fairly often.

rexhat
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by rexhat » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:04 am

I was in a similar situation. Although your situation is actually better in the sense your wife's income is your insurance.

My story is that after undergoing underwriting for a few policies and even being issued one with 5 year coverage, exclusion and extra cost, I received the $7,500/month of coverage AMA deal from MetLife with no underwriting. I canceled the other policy as soon as the new one was in place. This just came in the mail from the AMA. I called the phone number. They only cared that I was a graduating fellow or resident--they didn't ask which institution or for proof.

Then, the next year I received a Guardian policy in the mail mentioning no underwriting, coverage to age 65, no pre-existing condition rider. I took it and ran. So now I have $12,500/monthly of tax-free coverage. The only loss in these no medical underwriting plans is you lose mental/nervous coverage after 2 years of disability instead of to age 65.

Third, once I graduated fellowship, I learned my employer covers me for $16,000/month as well. So I should be fine.

To be honest, I thought the insurance companies were being too risk averse by not insuring me, but now that I have the coverage, I think they were right. So I think you should look out for opportunities as they arise and between your employer and everything else you should be fine. Since almost zero radiologists work in solo private practice there's a good chance your future employer will offer some sort of coverage.

BigTom
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by BigTom » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:12 am

rexhat wrote:I was in a similar situation. Although your situation is actually better in the sense your wife's income is your insurance.

My story is that after undergoing underwriting for a few policies and even being issued one with 5 year coverage, exclusion and extra cost, I received the $7,500/month of coverage AMA deal from MetLife with no underwriting. I canceled the other policy as soon as the new one was in place. This just came in the mail from the AMA. I called the phone number. They only cared that I was a graduating fellow or resident--they didn't ask which institution or for proof.

Then, the next year I received a Guardian policy in the mail mentioning no underwriting, coverage to age 65, no pre-existing condition rider. I took it and ran. So now I have $12,500/monthly of tax-free coverage. The only loss in these no medical underwriting plans is you lose mental/nervous coverage after 2 years of disability instead of to age 65.

Third, once I graduated fellowship, I learned my employer covers me for $16,000/month as well. So I should be fine.

To be honest, I thought the insurance companies were being too risk averse by not insuring me, but now that I have the coverage, I think they were right. So I think you should look out for opportunities as they arise and between your employer and everything else you should be fine. Since almost zero radiologists work in solo private practice there's a good chance your future employer will offer some sort of coverage.


Interesting . So the provider plus limited policy through guardian has no underwriting

ks289
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by ks289 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:31 pm

lululu wrote:
ks289 wrote:I echo you initial thoughts and the other posters' ideas about optimizing group disability offerings and aggressively saving to achieve self insured status.
I would also consider ways to broaden your career, skills, and responsibilities as much as possible. Being clinically active while being involved in leadership or administration or teaching can help minimize the impact of limits to being able to practice full time.


The OP could be disabled in various ways also and still practice his profession. For example, having to be in a wheelchair would not seem to rule this out.


Agree. I would assume the OP is not going into vascular/interventional radiology and reliant on his hands or he would have mentioned fellowship training. However, I would still argue for any clinician to aim to be as indispensable/experienced as possible not only to minimize the impact of a disability (for which one cannot obtain insurance), but also to minimize the potential impact of outsourcing, competition, etc.

ks289
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by ks289 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:35 pm

lululu wrote:
p_qrs_t wrote:In my particular area of medicine, orthopedic injuries are commonplace, and a major reason for early retirement.


If i were in such a situation, I would be trotting off to a physical therapist as a preventative measure fairly often.


Not sure.
With any procedural field, there is a risk of overuse type injuries developing over time. Prevention through good ergonomics/posture and technique is probably the best we can do. When things start to act up, rest (or the fountain of youth) may be the only remedy.

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hoppy08520
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by hoppy08520 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:47 pm

dm200 wrote:Observation from a non-physician -

I suspect that so few employed individuals purchase disability insurance is that most are probably employed by corporations or organizations that provide coverage to employees. I suspect that a great many physicians are not covered by employer plans. My guess is that difference may be a reason that so many physicians purchase (or try to purchase) insurance.

I think you're right about that. I get the impression that a lot of MDs do not have workplace DI coverage so they need to get this on their own (I could be wrong). Maybe these are just the docs in solo practice?

Moreover, the MD profession is both cerebral and physical (to varying degrees) so a MD is more at risk compared to a pure desk worker.

When you combine the fact that MDs generally have higher incomes in the first place, with the fact that they (might) be less likely to have employer-provided group coverage, with the fact that they have a physical job -- there you go.

BigTom wrote:
rexhat wrote:<<snip>>
Then, the next year I received a Guardian policy in the mail mentioning no underwriting, coverage to age 65, no pre-existing condition rider. I took it and ran. So now I have $12,500/monthly of tax-free coverage. The only loss in these no medical underwriting plans is you lose mental/nervous coverage after 2 years of disability instead of to age 65.
<< snip>>

Interesting . So the provider plus limited policy through guardian has no underwriting

FYI, I'm a 44-year-old non-MD software engineer who just got a Guardian ProVider Plus Limited policy and I did need underwriting, so it seems that this can vary from case to case. As part of getting the policy, I also had a home medical inspection (blood, urine, blood pressure and pulse measurement, weight check) and had a health interview and had to provide my medical records.

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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by BruDude » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:02 pm

RadiologyDoctor wrote:Unfortunately, I cannot qualify for individual disability insurance do to a pre-existing condition. I can't get a clear reason why I can't get a policy offered with a rider to exclude the pre-existing condition. I'm a radiologist, and I'm particularly concerned about losing my vision or something else catastrophic like that, really stuff that isn't related to the chronic, well-managed pre-existing condition.

Despite all the good advice from whitecoatinvestor (including a post about AMA affiliated insurance for individuals that required NO underwriting...I do not qualify for that do to my current institutional affiliation) and bogleheads posts, I'm now resigned after underwriting processes which have extended through much of 2014 to the fact that I cannot get individual disability insurance. The question is: how do I go forward from here?

I'm a senior resident right now with zero debt. My wife is also a physician, and has been an attending for the past year who makes approximately 200k/yr. We have only a small six figure nest egg at this time, but we do have a good emergency fund and adequate family support if financial disaster were to arise. Although we could survive on her income alone, my fear is that a disability on my part could potentially force her to work more than she would like to assure that my care needs would be attended to. I.e. she might have to work longer/harder than she would otherwise. Certainly we hope to save enough in the coming years to self-insure, but I'm worried that a major disability in the next 10 years could leave us quite vulnerable.

Aside from aggressive saving and attempting to maximize group DI coverage, is there any additional steps I should take? I realize my situation may not be as dismal as others since I do have no debt and have a spouse who will likely have a long-standing healthy income, but my conservative nature and the constant calls by WCI and others that physicians need DI has me quite worked up over my inability to get coverage.


A lot of chronic conditions can't be excluded because they effect so many bodily functions that it could be difficult for the insurance company to prove that the disability is related to the excluded condition. What's the condition and which companies have declined you? Do you have an agent working on your behalf to find a company that might offer coverage, or have you just been applying to various companies to see what happens?

Jack wrote:Why do so many doctors buy disability insurance? Only of tiny percentage of the population buys disability insurance and I'm guessing most of them are doctors. Most everyone else manages to get along without it. It seems to be one of the many financial products designed to get money out of doctors.


High-income earners have more incentive to protect their income and have more disposable income to afford the coverage. Almost all of my DI clients earn over $75k with the vast majority over $100k. Physicians are also much more likely to become disabled than other high-earning occupations in office type jobs, especially those that have manual duties like a surgeon or ER doc. Why start your career 10 years later than your peers with $300k in debt while taking the chance that your $20M+ of career earning power could be wiped out by one injury or illness? DI gives peace of mind that you will always be able to earn that six-figure income.

traumadoc77 wrote:Buying disability insurance was pretty bad for me, it is so invasive and impersonable... I had a couple preexisting conditions that they make you feel like crap about. I got an own-occ policy from Guardian but due to the preexisting conditions they will only pay out for 5 years. It is ~750$ a month and only 5 years of coverage. The kicker is that that they totally excluded the preexisting condition from being covered at all, but still put the 5 year max on the policy. If I get hit by a car and disabled they will only pay for 5 years... since I had x problem that is totally unrelated. Very frustrating but better than nothing I guess :confused


There are a lot of conditions which will limit benefits to 5 years max even if the condition is excluded. Mental/nervous history is a big one, even if it was just an occasional visit to a therapist or an as-needed anxiety prescription being filled. That's why I tell everyone to buy DI when they are young and healthy - even waiting a few months can result in major underwriting problems if you have a health issue. Keep in mind that your policy will pay for up to 5 years per disability, not for the life of the contract. Most disabilities last 5 years or less, though I would still say it's best to have an age-65+ benefit if available since those type of statistics apply to everyone as a whole, but not each individual person.

dm200 wrote:Observation from a non-physician -

I suspect that so few employed individuals purchase disability insurance is that most are probably employed by corporations or organizations that provide coverage to employees. I suspect that a great many physicians are not covered by employer plans. My guess is that difference may be a reason that so many physicians purchase (or try to purchase) insurance.

One thing that almost any employed individual (up to probably about age 66) can do to provide disability protection is purchase credit disability insurance on loans. It is not cheap, BUT almost always has very minimal pre-existing condition exclusions - as long as the borrower is working 25 hours a week or more.


Most people don't buy DI because they think the group LTD from their employers is adequate (it's not 99% of the time), it's expensive relative to other types of insurance, and underwriting for individual DI policies is complex and very conservative. Credit disability insurance is garbage, just read the definitions. A last-resort product IMO.

BigTom wrote:Interesting . So the provider plus limited policy through guardian has no underwriting


Provider Plus Limited still requires underwriting. rexhat probably had a conversion options available to him/her under the group LTD policy that was provided during residency. Guardian may have had a special program targeting residents that had converted policies or had a conversion option with other carriers.

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dm200
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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by dm200 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:59 pm

JonnyDVM wrote:Individual disability insurance is way overpriced IMO. I'm really getting tired of the hefty monthly payments we make. I wouldn't stress about it too much. If you truly won't be able to sleep at night without one take a job as an employee rather than an independent contractor with an employer that offers group disability. It's not quite as good, but it's certainly better than not being covered at all.


I suspect that the pricing of individual disability insurance is greatly influenced by "adverse selection" - where those more likely to become disabled (for one or more of many reasons) are more likely to purchase coverage.

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Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:01 pm

RadiologyDoctor wrote:Unfortunately, I cannot qualify for individual disability insurance do to a pre-existing condition. I can't get a clear reason why I can't get a policy offered with a rider to exclude the pre-existing condition. I'm a radiologist, and I'm particularly concerned about losing my vision or something else catastrophic like that, really stuff that isn't related to the chronic, well-managed pre-existing condition.

Despite all the good advice from whitecoatinvestor (including a post about AMA affiliated insurance for individuals that required NO underwriting...I do not qualify for that do to my current institutional affiliation) and bogleheads posts, I'm now resigned after underwriting processes which have extended through much of 2014 to the fact that I cannot get individual disability insurance. The question is: how do I go forward from here?

I'm a senior resident right now with zero debt. My wife is also a physician, and has been an attending for the past year who makes approximately 200k/yr. We have only a small six figure nest egg at this time, but we do have a good emergency fund and adequate family support if financial disaster were to arise. Although we could survive on her income alone, my fear is that a disability on my part could potentially force her to work more than she would like to assure that my care needs would be attended to. I.e. she might have to work longer/harder than she would otherwise. Certainly we hope to save enough in the coming years to self-insure, but I'm worried that a major disability in the next 10 years could leave us quite vulnerable.

Aside from aggressive saving and attempting to maximize group DI coverage, is there any additional steps I should take? I realize my situation may not be as dismal as others since I do have no debt and have a spouse who will likely have a long-standing healthy income, but my conservative nature and the constant calls by WCI and others that physicians need DI has me quite worked up over my inability to get coverage.


Why not just look at jobs that offer group disability? Are you sure there is not a group policy available through your specialty organization?

BTW- Your wife's earnings are a reasonable disability plan in my opinion. Two doc families can often get away without much life insurance either. Maybe I should send my wife to medical school.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by dm200 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:30 pm

Credit disability insurance is garbage, just read the definitions. A last-resort product IMO.


"garbage" is, IMO, an exageration. I have direct experience (in Virginia) with consumer lending (no real estate) and see first-hand that borrowers who purchase the optional disability insurance on various kinds of consumer loans have often benefitted from this coverage. The coverage I am most familiar with has very few exclusions (pre-existing condtions** and normal pregnancy), no medical underwriting if purchased at the disbursement of the loan and only a one month period from becoming disabled until benefits are paid. The borrower must be under age 66 (some states have different age limits) and must be working 25 hours or more per week. ** The pre-existing condition exclusion is only for conditions the borrower is being treated for in the six months prior to loan disbursement and which disables the borrower within six months of the loan disbursement. So, for example, if the borrower is being treated for a heart condition, but is working 25 hours or more per week - and gets the loan on May 1 = but is disabled from a heart attack on November 15 - the insurance will make the payments beginning December 15.

What does this cost? In Virginia, the rates (all amortized into a level and equal payment for the life of the loan) are $0.077 per $100.00 per month on the principal balance of the loan. Here are two examples of loans with and without disability insurance for an individual eligible borrower for the above described coverage. $5,000 personal loan @8.00% interest rate for 12 months - monthly payment with disability coverage = $437.16 [total cost of disability insurance for life of loan = $27.37]. Monthly payment without disability insurance = $435.01. $25,000 used auto loan @4.00% interest for 48 months - monthly payment with disability insurance = $574.97 [total cost of disability insurance for life of loan = $486.81]. Monthly payment without disability insurance = $564.56. Disability benefits are paid irrespective of the receipt of any other disability benefits.

This is, certainly, nowhere near a complete solution to disability - but can help make a difference for a lot of folks with outstanding consumer loans - and facing a disability that prevents them from working.

epictetus
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:43 pm

Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by epictetus » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:53 pm

i like the idea mentioned above about living on your wife's income and saving yours.
that helps keep your lifestyle at a reasonable level and would reduce/prevent lifestyle shock if one of you couldn't work for a period of time or for forever. and if you can both keep working probably in 10 years or less you would be set financially for life.
Focus on what you can control

rexhat
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:56 pm

Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by rexhat » Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:10 pm

Yes, I tried individual underwriting with Guardian and was flat out rejected. They wouldn't offer me even an exclusion at higher cost. That annoyed me completely. Only Metlife would offer me something after underwriting with 5 year coverage, exclusion and 30% premium addition and only $5k coverage.

Then I found the 2 graduating resident deals mentioned above.

Guardian provided the $5k/month (no future increase option)

MetLife provided $7.5k/month (AMA)

all with no underwriting. to avoid spam. PM me for the guardian underwriter info.

p_qrs_t
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:02 pm

Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by p_qrs_t » Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:55 am

lululu wrote:
p_qrs_t wrote:In my particular area of medicine, orthopedic injuries are commonplace, and a major reason for early retirement.


If i were in such a situation, I would be trotting off to a physical therapist as a preventative measure fairly often.


Personal Trainer. Same idea. But just recently started, so I have decades worth of bad habits to work on. The trainer will be gainfully employed by me for years to come.

:!:

vortigaunt21
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:20 pm

Re: Cannot qualify for physician disability insurance.

Post by vortigaunt21 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:45 pm

rexhat wrote:
Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:10 pm
Yes, I tried individual underwriting with Guardian and was flat out rejected. They wouldn't offer me even an exclusion at higher cost. That annoyed me completely. Only Metlife would offer me something after underwriting with 5 year coverage, exclusion and 30% premium addition and only $5k coverage.

Then I found the 2 graduating resident deals mentioned above.

Guardian provided the $5k/month (no future increase option)

MetLife provided $7.5k/month (AMA)

all with no underwriting. to avoid spam. PM me for the guardian underwriter info.
Rexhat can you provide me the info for the underwriter?

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