Even now, in 2021, some people believe that men are more likely than women to become disabled. But, according to the Social Security Administration, in at least two of the last five years, working-age women filed a higher number of disability claims with that agency than men did. The lengths of time that women were disabled were also often longer than men’s. Various women’s health risk factors have caused females to be considered higher risks than males for filing disability claims. Let’s look at how these factors impact women physician’s disability insurance rates and what women in medical practice can do to minimize the cost of their coverage.
In this blog, you will learn:
- Sex-Driven Disability Insurance Rates
- Why Do Women Pay More Than Men for Disability Insurance?
- How to Minimize Your Disability Insurance Premiums
- The Best Time for Women Doctors to Get Disability Coverage
- Get Help with Disability Insurance Options
- Where to Get Disability Insurance?
Sex-Driven Disability Insurance Rates
Another contributor to the various statistical shifts in sex ratios regarding disability claims over the years is the sharp rise in the number of women doctors. Per AMA data, there is at least five times the number of women physicians today than 30 years ago. Women now account for around one-third of all doctors and nearly half of all medical school graduates in residency and fellowships throughout the country.
The increasing number of female physicians means that more women are met with inequity in the disability insurance market. The disability insurance premiums women are being charged are up to 50% higher than men’s premium payments.
Why Do Women Pay More Than Men for Disability Insurance?
Whether your disability insurance coverage is individually purchased or paid for through an employer’s group plan, a policy typically replaces around 50% to 80% of lost income in the event of a disabling illness or accident. (Social Security disability insurance benefits are comparatively small, and the process of qualifying is lengthy.)
The disparity in disability insurance premiums between men and women doctors is due to the history of disability claims, on which insurance carriers have based respective rates for the two sexes. Women have filed larger numbers of disability claims. Breast cancer, higher rates of depression than men report, auto-immune diseases, are among the women’s health issues that are responsible for the higher incidence of women’s claims.
Women go to a doctor when there is a health problem more often than men do. Women remain disabled longer than men, and men die younger than women do. So, women are charged higher disability insurance rates.
What is equal regarding disability insurance for both men and women is the need for this type of income protection. The coverage is essential for physicians, male and female alike because the likelihood of being disabled before retirement age is triple the likelihood of dying before reaching retirement. With well over half of female physicians under 45 years old, they have many years of potential earnings that need to be protected.
How to Minimize Your Disability Insurance Premiums
A female physician can save as much as 50% on premiums by taking advantage of a discount offered by some insurers when at least three female physicians at a medical practice buy individual policies. However, to offset costs, the insurance carriers may increase disability premiums for male doctors at that medical practice. The physicians in the group would need to evaluate this as a cost management strategy, to see if the balance of premium savings to increases actually nets savings for the group practice.
Other ways to reduce your disability insurance premium costs significantly include:
- Choose a prolonged waiting period before benefit payouts begin.
- Purchase your disability policy while you are as young and healthy as possible.
- Take care of your health. Don’t smoke.
The Best Time for Women Doctors to Get Disability Coverage
At whatever age you buy your disability insurance, your premium rates are the lowest at that point in time that they can ever be for you during your lifetime. This is because disability insurance rates are based on the policyholder’s age and health at the time the insurance is purchased. Your rate is locked in at the time you purchase your policy, and it normally does not increase in the future.
The option to increase the amount of coverage in the future without a medical exam is guaranteed. This means a young physician can begin their policy with a small amount of coverage with small premiums and then raise the coverage amount later. Insurance companies offer disability insurance for medical residents and young doctors on fellowships at deeply discounted rates, which slashes the total amount of premium costs paid during your career.
Get Help with Disability Insurance Options
Disability coverage is a necessity for proper financial planning, to protect yourself and your family from the possibly catastrophic loss of income. But, like the health insurance marketplace, navigating the world of disability coverage alternatives is a complex proposition. Premium costs are only one factor for consideration. Disability definitions, levels of income protection, benefit payout amounts, and a whole range of options must also be evaluated. Work with an independent disability insurance specialist, to obtain an objective review of the spectrum of policy selections and rate quotes.
Specialized Disability Insurance Services
Our specialty is evaluating insurance options for physicians and other professionals in specialized occupations, to determine the best possible insurance coverages at the best available premium prices. We are an independent insurance brokerage, so we are free to focus on your unique needs, and not simply steer you to a particular carrier.
For Term Life, Multi-Life Disability, Individual Disability, or Group Health Insurance, we can help you determine the best possible coverages for your specific needs.