Congratulations to the medical school graduating class of 2013!
Now that match day is over and you know where you will be doing your residency, it is time to make your plans.
When it comes to purchasing your individual disability insurance policy, now may be the best time to consider coverage before you start your residency.
1) Occupational class. As a medical student with an undeclared major, you are in the best available occupational class for physicians. This would put you in the class with non surgical specialists. If you are going on to do a transitional year or you are still not sure, it is best to acquire your benefits now! This can save you approximately 20% on your premiums now and in the future! Make sure your policy is adjustable and the increases will still be at the original occupational class. If you are later going on to a surgical specialty or other riskier specialties such as anesthesiology, interventional radiology, emergency medicine or interventional cardiology, get your policy now and lock it in at the non surgical rates! If/when you later have a claim, the policy would still cover you in your surgical medical specialty as the policy covers you in the specialty you are in at the time of claim.
2) Discounts. Check out Set for Life Insurance’s discounts and see if your medical school already has discounts available. If your school does not currently have discounts, Set for Life can help you put them together. If your school doesn’t have discounts but your residency has discounts available, it may be in your best interest to wait until this summer to purchase your policy when you are at the discounted hospital. Discounts can save you from 15% to 55%.
3) Geographical location. If you are currently living in one of the more restrictive or expensive states such as California, Florida or New York and are moving, you may want to wait until you arrive in your new location. If you are moving to a more restrictive state, purchase your policy before you move.
As a graduating medical resident, you are eligible to purchase up to $2500/month benefit. The minimum size policy is $1000/month. You may want to consider purchasing a policy at the minimum amount of $1000/month to save money on premiums. Just make sure you can increase the policy in the future up to the maximum amount of $15,000/month. If you have a high earning potential of over $350,000/year, (or are in a medical specialty with high income potential such as orthopedic surgery, general surgery, radiology, plastic surgery etc…) consider purchasing benefits from more than one company. This will allow you to be preapproved for up to the current maximum level of $25k/month of benefit. If you purchase with one company, you will be limited to $15,000/month.