Here’s some good news and some bad news about disability insurance for physicians.
The good news is this: a smart person at The Employee Benefits Group division of Sun Life Financial has figured out a new benefit to offer their doctor, dentist and medical practice policyholders of disability insurance policies – a Malpractice Insurance Reimbursement rider. The physicians and dentists who are out on disability will receive a reimbursement of their malpractice insurance premiums while they are out of work.
It’s a smart idea, because medical malpractice premiums are steep, and they must continue to be paid while the doctors and dentists are out on disability. There is a limit of the amount – $25,000 – and the time – 12 months – which is also smart – it caps Sun Life’s exposure. It s an innovative product and one that doctors and dentists are likely to embrace.
So what’s the bad news?
Sun Life is one of many major disability insurance companies that we frequently find ourselves battling in cases on behalf of physicians and dentists whose disability insurance claims have been denied or are being delayed. So once again we find ourselves forced to take a cynical position.
Reimbursing your Malpractice Insurance premiums sounds like a great idea – but is that before or after the claim is delayed or denied? And if the claim is initially denied and then won on appeal, will you still be entitled to that nice $25,000 reimbursement to pay your medical malpractice premiums, or will that become another arm of a legal hydra you have to tame?
When making decisions on purchasing a long term disability insurance policy, we are less concerned with the add-ons than we are with the genuine thing: an insurance company that stays with the concept that when you are disabled enough to have to stop practicing medicine or dentistry, the insurance company that sold you a policy will pay the benefits, as promised and as agreed to in your contract.
If you are a physician or dentist and your disability insurance company has denied your claim or is delaying it, give our office a call. We can help.