Disability Insurance for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants
Jan 15, 2013
Jamie Fleischner

Jamie Fleischner

15 Jan, 2013

Disability Insurance: Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

If you are a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant, you are already well aware of the risks out there that can keep you from working. So how do you protect your income in the event you become sick or injured? Are your policies the same as physicians, doctors, nurses and CRNAs?

As an NP or PA, it is important for you to work with an experienced broker to find you the best available coverage for your situation. Policies vary even more than those for physicians. Some companies classify NPs or Pas in the same category as an RN. Others classify them the same as an internist, while others will look at the area of specialty (example emergency medicine or dermatology). As a result, the rates from company to company can vary greatly.

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants should look for the following important elements in their policies:

  • Own occupation definition of disability. This means that if you can’t work as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant in your area of specialty, it will pay you a monthly benefit even if you can work in another specialty or occupation. This is not available with all companies for NPs or PAs. Furthermore, some companies only offer own occupation for a shorter period of time such as 5 years and then the  policy changes to a total disability contract.
  • Residual Rider. This allows you to file a claim if you have a partial disability. The policy will start to pay a monthly benefit if you 15/20% (depending on company) or more loss of earnings. It will then pay you that proportion of your benefit, even if you are still working as a PA or NP.
  • Future Increase Options/Benefit Update/Benefit Purchase. Each company calls it something different, but the importance is the same. This allows you to increase your policy in the future without further medical underwriting if you have an increase in income or if you lose your group disability benefits.
  • Discounts. Obtaining a policy at a discounted rate can save you considerably, especially if you are a woman and can get a policy at unisex rates. This can save you around 55%! Check out Set for Life Insurance’s portfolio of discounts, the largest one in the country. Applications submitted through Set for Life Insurance at discounted employers are eligible for discounted rates. If you do not yet have discounts at your employer, Set for Life can help you set them up.
  • Work with the right people. It’s easy to click on several websites to request a lot of quotes. It is just as important to work with the right people who will be there for to take care of your needs long term.  If your agent is no longer in the business in 2 years, the company will assign you to someone who you don’t know who may not be able to handle your needs. Look for an established broker with strong credentials. If they are not forthcoming with their experience or their background is nowhere to be found on their website, that should raise a flag.

For more information about disability insurance for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, contact Set for Life Insurance today!

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