Physician disability insurance covers your earning source in case you are unable to perform your normal medical specialty because of illness or injury. Most physician disability insurance plans for doctors, dentists, and others usually include a genuine occupational definition of disability for the purposes of coverage. Usually the definition is a qualified medical condition for which there has been minimal damage or loss of ability to perform the regular duties of the doctor. Usually the definition is supported by sufficient documentation, documenting the doctor’s incapacitation. However, even in these cases there are times when disability may be awarded despite the loss of ability to work. In such cases the physician must file an application with the insurer.
A physician disability insurance plan can provide medical professionals with financial protection against extreme financial hardship when they become unable to practice their profession. Under most plans a person becomes disabled if they are eligible for Social Security benefits but are not under the age of twenty-five. A qualified medical professional who has been practicing for at least two years within the three lowest cost groups is usually eligible for the plan. The premiums are usually based on an annual income and the number of years a physician has been practicing.
The most common forms of physician disability insurance are health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and point-of-service (POS) plans. Health maintenance organizations usually require a referral from a primary care physician in order to obtain coverage. PPOs usually require a referral from the physician treating the patient. POS plans, which cover only elective services, deductibles, and coinsurance, are offered by some health insurance companies.
Managed care plans, sometimes called network disability plans, are more flexible than most insurance plans. Generally, a physician agrees to accept the plan, pay for all costs, and co-pay with a pre-arranged monthly rate. Usually, network disability plans cover all necessary physician services and are less expensive than other options. When selecting this type of physician disability insurance, it’s important to find a company that offers the coverage desired.
Another type of physician disability plan is point-of-service (POS) plan. A POS plan covers only the specific services that have been agreed to and purchased. The services covered depend on the policy and plan authorizer. Some plans may cover doctor’s office visits, clinical laboratory services, preventive services, and laboratory services, while others cover only one or a limited number of services. In addition, some policies may specify how providers are paid for services provided. Most POS plans also have co-pays and deductibles for primary care physicians.
One of the most popular physician disability insurance plans is fee-for-service plans. This type of plan typically provides coverage for inpatient and outpatient hospital stays as well as physician visits and services prescribed by specialists. The plan does not usually cover preventative services. However, fee-for-service plans do allow the physician to choose which physician to see and which patients to treat.
For those physicians who are self-employed, finding physician disability insurance that allows for flexibility may be necessary. Managed care plans offer several options for service providers. Plans may offer payment plans for patients that meet certain criteria. Also, providers can choose where they receive their payments. Many managed care plans will bill Medicare instead of private insurance companies for service charges. In addition, the provider can decide if he wants to be paid directly by Medicare or reimbursed by another source.
Finding a physician disability insurance plan can be challenging for doctors with specialized fields of expertise. However, there are several options available. Whether you are self-employed or currently covered by a health maintenance organization, you should explore all options available. Choosing the right option can help you continue to treat patients while avoiding financial disaster.