It’s that time of year for graduating medical residents and fellows. All of your hard work is finally going to pay off, literally. With all of the craziness between packing, moving, graduation parties and work, most residents don’t have time to consider protecting their income with disability insurance. They decide to put it off until life settles down. Little do they know, this procrastination may cost them dearly.
Here are the top reasons for graduating residents to consider purchasing a policy prior to graduation:
1) No financial documentation required. As a graduating resident or fellow, you may purchase between $5000 and $7500/month benefit (depending on the company) regardless of your income and any group benefits in force. This may be more than you are eligible for if you are taking a position that offers group benefits.
2) DISCOUNTS. Set for Life Insurance has discounts set up at hundreds of hospitals and residency programs around the country. If you purchase your policy prior to graduation, you can lock in your policy at the discounted rates. The discounts will also apply to all future increases even if you are no longer at the discounted hospital. Depending on your gender and medical specialty, the discounts may save you between 20-55%. Women already pay approximately 40% more in premiums than their male counterparts. Since the discounted rates are unisex, this drops the rates by 35%. With an additional 20% employer sponsored discount, that amounts to 55%! For men, the unisex rates don’t help much, but the 20% employer sponsored discount is still significant.
3) If you are moving to a different state, evaluate your situation. Rates are not equal among the states. If you are moving to a more expensive state such as California, it may be in your best interest to purchase your policy in your current state to lock in those rates.
4) If you will be working for a governmental or state institution, your options may be limited after residency. Some companies only allow up to $2000/month benefits for state and governmental employees. If you will be working for your state university or VA, you may be limited in your disability options. However, if you purchase your policy prior to graduation, you will still be eligible for up to $5000-$7500/month benefit.
Before you say goodbye to residency, take a few moments to consider protecting your income while still a resident. It may save you in the long run.