Specialty groups need special attention
By David Serena
Group Disability Specialist
The simple truth is specialty physician groups need special treatment in order be fully protected from the financial hardships a disability can cause.
From among the many reason why, three stand out:
- Specialty group physicians are more vulnerable because an injury – say to a shoulder or a hand – can limit or preclude their ability to perform invasive procedures (especially true for surgeons, anesthesiologists, invasive radiologists);
- Too many Long-Term Disability(LTD) contracts do not take into account all possible specialty group income streams such as K-1 distributions, and;
- Too many LTD contracts do not protect physicians based on a very specific and accurate definition of their specialty.
Finding the ideal LTD insurance for your specialty group usually begins with a conversation with an experienced insurance advisor who recognizes the unique vulnerability of your specialty.
If your group is purchasing LTD for the first time, your advisor will provide a strong proposal with an “apples-to-apples” comparison highlighting any significant differences between policies and insurance companies.
If your group is already covered, it’s often very advantageous to work with an insurance advisor to compare your existing insurance to the latest policies available. Ideally, your advisor is proactive when it comes to informing you of the potentially positive or negative impact changes in the insurance industry can have on your coverage. At a bare minimum, your advisor should review your changing circumstances and explore new opportunities with you an annual basis.
The WisMed Advantage
At WisMed Assure, our only business and our sole focus is serving healthcare professionals. Our team has decades of experience and a deep understanding of your concerns, aspirations and opportunities. By leveraging the shared wisdom and collective buying power of the many physicians and healthcare professionals we serve, WisMed Assure is able to deliver preferred service, terms and, in many cases, better pricing.
Here are some of the important features we provide that are of particular importance to physicians:
- We protect the physicians’ own specialty by using the CPT-10 codes they have billed for during the last 12 months to identify their “own occupation”. This is unusual. Many contracts have weaker language.
- Our program typically pays claims for 6 months longer to Doctors over age 60. This is of value to senior Physicians who are the most likely to go on claim.
- Because our sole focus is physicians, there is an unusually deep understanding of “income”, such as K-1 distributions for specialty groups owned wholly or partially by the physicians in the Group… income that goes away if they cannot practice.
- Our plans do not have the subjective provisions often seen in other contracts, such as working to maximum capacity, part-time work requirements, or prudent person language. When these provisions are in other LTD products, it can allow a carrier to pre-maturely terminate a claim or reduce expected benefits.
- We can bring you a host of riders to choose from based on your unique circumstances and needs including:
- Infectious diseases, including the COVID-19 virus.
- Progressive illnesses. Some contracts don’t pay until there is a 20% income loss in one year, whereas ours pays as soon as there is a 20% income loss from the time of diagnosis. This is unusual.
- Extended earnings for physicians coming back after an extended illness. This rider is important for those who bill and have to wait for receivables.
- Pension contribution payments can also be covered.
- Additionally, we offer ancillary coverage for things like travel assistance and identity theft protection.
While price isn’t everything, in most cases, specialty groups can expect an extra 5% discount for working with us.
One more thing, WisMed Assure not only works for you directly, we serve the healthcare community at large as all of our profit goes to support the Wisconsin Medical Society.
If you wish to discuss any of the features I’ve written about here, or if you want your disability insurance to be an ideal fit for your group’s unique needs and situation and concerns, contact me or click on the link below.