Long-term disability insurance is an important component of the financial health of any physician. It provides a safety net for you and your family if you’re unable to work for an extended period of time due to a serious illness or injury.
Without it, your family could face significant financial hardship in the event that you are disabled for several months or years. Physicians should definitely invest in long-term disability insurance, and here is why:
1. You may not be able to work for a long time.
If you cannot work due to an illness or injury, you will likely be unable to earn money for some time. Long-term disability insurance can help ensure that your income is still coming in while you recover from your illness or injury.
While being out of work may cause stress and financial strain, especially if you have many bills due every month, long-term disability insurance can provide peace of mind and financial stability during this challenging time.
2. Your ability to return to your practice when you can work again may be limited.
Working in a different specialty is often a possibility, but it’s not always easy to get credentialed in another field.
You may also find that you can no longer perform certain procedures or handle certain medications due to your condition. If this is the case, you will need to seek employment elsewhere.
You may take on a part-time position instead of returning full-time or at all.
This would require you to adjust your income expectations and possibly accept lower pay, which can be difficult if you are used to earning high wages from your practice.
3. Your income will drop if you cannot perform your job.
You may have to find a new job, which could be difficult if your specialty has low demand or if you need a caregiver for an extended period of time.
You may not be able to take on any part-time work during your disability because it’s unlikely that anyone will hire someone who is not fully capable of performing the duties.
Finally, if you have a disability that prevents you from working at all, then there’s no money coming in, and the bills keep piling up even though the bills aren’t getting paid.
4. Your family will lose the benefit of your services and company.
Your family will miss you and your company. You are the primary breadwinner, and your income is no longer coming into the household.
This can be especially difficult for a single parent or a two-income family because it means that there is no one else to pick up the slack.
Your spouse may have less time to spend with their children, as well as less time for themselves, as they take over responsibilities that fall under your job’s normal purview.
5. You may need round-the-clock care for a long time.
You may need round-the-clock care for a long time. In some cases, you might even have to move in with your parents or hire a caregiver to stay at your home 24/7.
If you’re receiving treatment for a chronic condition, it could take years to recover and return to work—and that’s assuming there’s no relapse once you go back.
Your job duties may also change because of your condition. If most of your work involves sitting at a desk all day or working with patients who are mostly healthy (for example), then it will be hard for any employer to accommodate these changes in your duties after returning from disability leave.
6. There may be emotional impacts on your family as well as financial ones.
As a physician, you are accustomed to providing a great deal of support for your family.
However, if you become disabled and are unable to work for an extended period of time, your family will be called upon to provide the same level of support in return.
If you become disabled and cannot continue working as a physician, likely, your family will also experience stress from the loss of income (and perhaps even from being forced out of their home).
However, financial concerns are only one part of this burden; there could also be emotional challenges associated with dealing with your disability.
In order to cope effectively with these challenges, one or more members of your household may require additional attention during this difficult time.
A loving family can and will support you, but having extra help from long-term disability insurance will make it easier.
7. Long-term disability insurance is as important as life insurance.
Long-term disability insurance is just as important as life insurance and should be considered alongside it.
Life insurance pays out to your family if you die, while long-term disability covers the income you lose if you can no longer work due to an illness or injury.
Long-term disability insurance is an important part of your financial planning, and the best policies can be found here.
The cost of this coverage is usually affordable, especially when compared with other types of insurance like life insurance or health coverage through Medicare.
And while the premiums may not always be tax-deductible, they will provide a safety net in case something happens that affects both your physical and mental well-being.