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Ultimate Physicians Disability Insurance Guide

Introduction to Disability Insurance for Physicians

As a physician or dentist, it is critical that you insure the possibility of becoming disabled with the right insurance policy. According to the AMA’s Annual Physician Financial Preparedness Survey, approximately 70% of physicians purchase an individual disability insurance plan. However the products available and process to do so can be complex and full of misinformation. For that reason, Blankit has put together the ultimate guide to Disability Income Insurance for Physicians and Dentists. Throughout this guide, we will provide tips and advice for selecting the best disability insurance policy based on your unique needs in your specialty. Blankit will provide recommendations on ways to save money when buying and choosing the right amount of coverage for you and your family.

When is the best time to purchase disability insurance for physicians?

NOW.  Insurance companies evaluate and price premiums based on multiple factors including your age and overall health. The older you are, the more risk the insurance company takes on to cover you in the event you become disabled, therefore the more they may have to pay in monthly benefits. All else equal, the premiums you pay over the life of the policy will be less expensive if you purchase a policy at 30 than they will at age 35, 40, 45 etc. Blankit is here is answer all of your questions, but as each day goes by, your policy premium goes up.

How much coverage do I need?

For doctors in residency or fellowship, benefits are typically capped between $5,000 and $6,500 regardless of your specialty and current annual income during training. When you complete your residency or fellowship, your monthly benefit from your disability insurance policy can be increased based on your new earnings. Doctors should determine their monthly living expenses and amount of income needed to be replaced in the event he or she becomes disabled, and is unable to perform the duties of his or her medical specialty. Generally, up to 60% of your annual income can be replaced.  Use this quick tool here to help determine your shortfall.

What happens if I become disabled?

Hopefully this never happens, but in the event the insurance company determines you qualify for disability income, they will pay the agreed upon monthly benefit based on your Disability Income policy. However, this process can be daunting if you are unaware of what to expect. The insurance company will request documentation from your physician and will need to consider the language of your  individual policy. For instance, there is a big difference between “temporary” and “permanent”, “total” and “partial”, and “qualified occupation” and “any occupation”.  Luckily, if you own an individual disability income policy, the monthly benefit you receive will be tax free. It is important for everyone, not just physicians, to consider purchasing a disability income policy if you haven’t already.  Contact a Blankit insurance specialist to determine the right policy for you.

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Buying my Health Insurance through the Marketplace?

We all know the Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan or face steep penalties.

Many Americans buy their plans through the government-run online health care exchanges, but health insurance exchanges aren’t the only game in town. You are free to buy health insurance outside your state’s exchange. People who qualify for subsidies may be enticed into buying from the exchanges — if your plan isn’t from the exchange, you won’t get your tax credits as subsidy. But, for everyone else, the free market awaits with a multitude of options.

Greater choice off exchange with myblankit

The primary  reason for buying off-exchange is greater choice. Every health plan on an exchange in your state must be offered off the exchange at the exact same price. However, the opposite is not true. Health insurance companies can and do offer lots of health plans that are not on the marketplace. By law, all plans must offer 10 essential benefits no matter inside or outside the exchange. But if you’re looking for a specific set of benefits beyond that, shopping off-exchange could give you a wide range of choices and opportunity to better tailor a policy to your needs.

Who’s in the network

Another reason to shop for your health insurance off-exchange is the network of health care providers included in the plan.

In some cases, health insurance companies are controlling their costs by limiting the provider networks for exchange plans. Your preferred doctor or hospital may not be included in the plan that looks best to you on the exchange.

Some health plans such as EPOs and HMOs won’t provide coverage if you go outside of their networks for care; others provide only limited coverage, certainly less than you would get if you go to providers in network.

Buying off-exchange can give you access to larger provider networks.

Cost of Deductibles

Off-exchange plans also may give you a greater choice when it comes to deductibles, the amount you pay out of pocket before your plan begins to pay. Off exchange plans offer greater flexibility to the cost of your deductibles.

Some plans simply aren’t available

The exchanges don’t offer every category of health insurance that you can buy elsewhere. For example, you cannot buy short-term medical insurance or long-term care insurance from an exchange. These more complex coverage’s must be procured through an agent like Blankit.

Also, some health insurance companies such as Aetna and UnitedHealthcare have opted not to participate in exchanges in some marketplaces. If you prefer these companies, you will have to buy plans from them outside the exchange though Blankit.

How to buy outside the exchange

One easy step. Just contact Blankit Today!

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Assignment of Benefits & how this affects me and my payment?

An Assignment of Benefits, or an AOB, is a document signed by a policyholder that allows a third party, such as a water extraction company, a roofer, or a plumber, to “stand in the shoes” of the insured and seek direct payment from the insurance company. It has become prevalent in water and roof claims across the state. This action allows third parties to go after payment directly without homeowner intervention. It may be your policy, but you may not be in control. Is this new?

No, AOBs have been a part of Florida’s marketplace for more than a 100 years. Yet, loopholes in the way it is being used in the marketplace are driving up costs for homeowners across the state due to unnecessary litigation associated with certain AOB claims. Per CFO Jeff Atwater, in 2006, “there were 405 AOB lawsuits across all 67 counties in Florida and in 2016, that number had risen to 28,200”. Homeowners could begin to see 10% rate increases per year going forward.

So what do I do? You make sure that your agent has clearly explained your policy to you and how this third party action may affect your claims, payouts or policy payments. We at Blankit Insurance Group are here to help you read, explain, and understand your policy, even if your policy wasn’t purchased with us. We are here for you, now for your policy.

For more information visit: floir.com/Sections/PandC/AssignmentofBenefits.aspx

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Did you know that the State can give insurers higher rate increases than they requested?