Q. The hospital where I practice only has a modest long-term disability policy. I just got a quote for supplemental long-term disability insurance and the cost was higher than expected. Is long-term disability really worth this added expense?
A. In general, the simple answer is usually YES! Long-term disability is often worth the added expense. Physicians’ most valuable asset is their ability to work and earn income in their specialty field for an extended period of time. Physicians can generate millions of dollars of income throughout their working lives and it is important to protect this earning potential.
Without the income generated from practicing medicine, a physician may need to forfeit many of his or her financial goals, such as purchasing a new home, paying for children’s college education, or even retiring comfortably. Long-term disability can ensure that many of these goals are reached even in the event of a long-term sickness or disability.
More Money Matters: How to create a more balanced portfolio
You may be asking, “But what are the chances of actually becoming sick or disabled and needing a long-term disability policy?” The answer is higher than you may think. A typical male who is age 35, 5’10", 170 pounds, non-smoker, with some outdoor physical responsibilities, and leads a healthy lifestyle has a 21% chance of becoming disabled for 3 months or longer during his working career. A typical female who is age 35, 5’4", 125 pounds, non-smoker, with some outdoor physical responsibilities, and who leads a healthy lifestyle has a 24% chance of becoming disabled for 3 months or longer during her working career. A long-term disability is a legitimate concern and one worth protecting against.