Broker Check

Dentists and Physicians

Debt Management

Student loan debt is at an all time high across the United States.  When starting to plan with young Physicians and Dentists, many are burdened by this headwind as they complete their GME and begin to start paying on these obligations.  Often times, other basic foundational financial concepts are overlooked due to the weight of these loans that one feels.  Below are some links that might provide some helpful information.

Disability Insurance

Run Your Own Quote

This link is a good starting point for you to get an understanding of coverage may cost.  Let me know what questions you have as there are a many ways to design this to fit your situation...

Contract language matters.....

Disability insurance policies are unilateral contracts between you and the insurance company.  Once the policy delivery is completed, your obligation is to pay the premiums and the carrier has to provide the benefits per the contract you purchased.  In other words, if you pay the premiums and then cannot perform the duties of your occupation due to an illness or injury, the carrier will pay a claim....or do they?

There are two very important words in the definition of a total disability that need to be identified.  The words or & and open the contract to further interpretation. Based on your education and training, you may want to consider a definition that limits the use of these words.  It is important to understand the entire definition because the terms used will impact a potential claim.

Example: We will consider you totally disabled from your occupation if you are unable to complete the material and substantial duties of your occupation, and are not working in any other occupation.

Do you know what your definition says?

True Own Occupation  (Specialty) or Modified Own Occupation Definition.....

If True Own-Occ is not necessary, an “Own-Occ and not working” (modified Own-Occ) definition of Total Disability is available. Under this definition of total disability, an insured who chooses to work in another occupation will not be considered totally disabled.   Using the modified Own-Occ definition option can create a premium savings. 

Example: A popular supplemental group LTD plan is described in marketing materials as having an “Own Specialty” definition of disability that protects a physician in his or her medical specialty.  However, this plan has a “Modified” Own Occ definition of disability—since upon returning to work in any occupation, earnings from that work may reduce the benefits payable.

Student Loan Payments Can Be Protected In Addition To My Income?

Student loan debt forgiveness is treated differently for disability than it is for death. You should review your loan documents to understand what the terms are in the event of these life events.

Guardian, Mass Mutual and Standard have an optional rider that can be added to their disability contracts that will provide a benefit in addition to your income replacement.  This optional feature is coordinated with your loan repayments to allow you the confidence that this obligation will continue to be met.  You pay for this, however, it is a rider and can be removed at any time, typically once your loan has been paid off.

Guardian, Mass Mutual nor Standard do not offer student loans or any counseling to attain or pay down student loans.