Physician Disability Insurance Checklist: Does the A.C.S. Plan Pass? (Part 2 of 2)

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

In our last post earlier this week, we started to put the American College of Surgeons (A.C.S.) to the “test” – comparing the physician disability insurance product offered through this association against high-performing private disability insurance. In this final post of this series, we’ll cover two more recurring topics presented from respected magazines, such as Medical Economics, Private Practice, Money Magazine and Consumer Reports.

3. Is residual (partial) disability covered without requiring prior total disability days? Look for contract language that states, “Residual benefit will be paid if you suffer a 15% loss of income and are unable to perform one or more, but not all, of the material and substantial duties of your occupation…or you are unable to engage in your occupation for more than 80% of the time as was usual to the start of your disability.” The idea here is that, if you are not totally disabled, but your injury/illness results in a decrease of income, this provision will allow you to receive a percentage of your benefit dependant on the percent loss of income.

-A.C.S. Plan Brochure – You will be eligible for residual disability income benefits if you return to work, following a period of a covered total disability of at least 30 days and your current earnings are no more than 75% of your pre-disability average earnings. The reduction of earnings must be a consequence of your total disability.

A.C.S. Plan Fails this Test – Requires satisfaction of waiting (elimination) period with total disability days first. Long-term partial disability without prior total disability will not receive a benefit from A.C.S.

4. Is a recovery benefit included? Once you recover from a disability but continue to lose income, does your benefit continue? Look for contract language that states, “Upon recovery and return to your occupation on a full-time basis, a recovery benefit will be paid if you maintain a loss of, at least, 15% of your net earned income and is a direct result of your previous disability. The idea here is that when you suffer an extended disability, your practice/patient volume is likely to suffer as well. Under this provision, upon recovery and return to your practice on a full-time basis (AND out of physicians care), you will still receive a percentage of your benefit dependant on the percentage of income lost due to a decrease in patient volume.

-A.C.S. Plan Brochure – What Is NOT Covered—A disability that does not require the regular care of a doctor (“doctor” does not include yourself or a member of your immediate family).

A.C.S. Plan Fails this Test – Benefits end when you are released from your physician’s care. Even though income loss continues while you try to rebuild your practice, this association policy will not cover a portion of your lost income unless you are under the care of a doctor.

Suggestion: There are policies available that pass all of these tests and they are not as expensive as you might think.

Ask an representative to review your current coverage. Policy reviews, updates, additions are common in the doctor disability industry. If you would like to run your policy through the test, whether it is a Group, Association or Individual disability insurance policy, we perform free policy reviews and quotes.

Your most valuable asset is the ability to go out everyday and earn a living. Protect this asset with the best disability policy available to you.

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