Disability Insurance for Women Medical Residents

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Disability Insurance for Women Medical Residents by Jamie K. Fleischner, CLU, ChFC, President of Set for Life Insurance.

Women are three times more likely to be disabled on the job.  Therefore, their disability insurance rates are also three times more expensive.

However, there are several things women can do to save on their disability insurance. The most important thing they can do is to consider finding a policy that offers unisex rates.  Since female rates are 40% more expensive, this immediately reduces their rates by 30-40%.

How do medical residents find unisex rates? At Set for Life, we work with residency programs throughout the country to set up these steeply discounted rates. Please contact our office first to see if these rates are already in place in your program.

If not, we can put together the discounts  if 3 or more residents from the same program apply for coverage.  Even if you find 2 male counterparts, they will also reap a discount

Secondly, make sure when you purchase your policy, the discount will continue as you increase your policy in the future. Sometime the discounts are only available while you are working at your current hospital. Once you leave your residency, your increase options may not be at the discounted rates and the difference in rates may shock you.

If you have not declared your medical specialty yet, get your policy now.  Rates are based on your occupational class by risk. Riskier specialties are usually surgical, emergency, anesthesiology, etc… The higher the risk, the higher the premiums. If you are currently doing a residency in internal medicine or pediatrics and may go on to a riskier specialty or fellowship, you may save a significant amount on your premiums if you purchase your policy prior to going into the riskier specialties.

Women More Vulnerable

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of women in the work force is growing twice as fast as the number of men. And on the average, women contribute 30 to 40% of all household income.

Yet a woman in her prime working years is much more likely to become disabled — permanently or temporarily — than a man. According to the Journal of the American Society of Certified Life Underwriters, a 35-year-old woman in a professional position is three times as likely as a man of the same age to become disabled for 90 days or more.

A company isn’t required by law to offer long-term disability insurance — so many don’t. If your company does, it’s important to understand exactly how much reimbursement to which you’ll be entitled. Disability benefits rarely cover 100% of a worker’s income; typically they add up to around 60% of your gross salary — which can leave you short in meeting your monthly bills.

Many women believe they can rely on Social Security Benefits as potential income. But according to the 1998 Social Security Handbook, a full five calendar months must pass before the government can provide any disability benefits. And to qualify for benefits, your disability must not only prevent you from performing any type of gainful employment, but it also must either last at least 12 months or be expected to result in death.

To find out if we already have discounts available at your program, please contact  s4l.wpengine.com

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