Planning for disability is a complex undertaking. Legal, contractual, and tax implications for both the individual and the practice necessitate consultation with attorneys, accountants, and insurance advisors to ensure effective preparation.
Insurance is an important part of planning for the both the physician and the practice. Understanding exactly what you are getting and when benefits will be paid should be the first cut in decision making. Many practices include group disability insurance for their staff. While this is helpful, physicians should look at integration with any personal policies they have. “I would not suggest any physician rely solely on their group policy,” said Janos Bodnar, senior vice president at Golsan Scruggs Insurance and Risk Management, based in Battle Ground, Wash. “If they leave that practice, these policies are not portable. Doctors should understand the importance of having personal income protection.”
For both personal and group disability policies, it is important to look carefully at the definitions. These parts of the contract outline what constitutes a disability, when you will be paid, at what rate, and for how long.