Physician disability insurance safeguards your dependable income in case you’re suddenly no longer capable to do your regular medical profession due to illness or injury. Typically, disability insurance plans for doctors, dentists, and others usually come with a real occupational definition of disability. What this means is that if you can’t work in your current medical profession anymore due to an illness or injury that’s been ruled out by a doctor’s diagnosis, then you can count on having your insurance plan to continue to pay your bills. Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about the different types of physician disability insurance.
The two most common forms of physician disability insurance are health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and fee for service (FFS). A popular option in the former category is catastrophic coverage, which provides coverage for costs for a specific number of medical procedures. In the latter insured parties pay a monthly fee to a private insurance company for medical services such as physician visits, tests and exams, and hospital stays. If a medical professional has to miss a specific number of scheduled appointments or time out of a particular treatment period because of a family medical condition or unavoidable emergency, then the plan will reimburse him or her for the portion of the service he or she missed.
There are some limitations to both HMOs and FFSs. With a FFS plan, a physician must be a part of the network of providers. This may not include a referral from a primary care physician. HMOs, on the other hand, don’t require referrals. They also provide coverage for non-network providers, but only up to a point.
Because they have such a strict network requirement, physicians with HMOs are often more expensive than those with FFSs. But this cost difference is not always significant. For example, if a physician has a low overhead rate, he or she can charge less for his or her services to the consumer. If he or she were to acquire a referral fee, he or she would have to spend additional money to compensate the provider for his or her work. This could push the cost of physician disability insurance up substantially.
A consumer can select one of several types of physician payment plans. These include fee-for-service plans and managed care plans. Fee-for-service plans are where the physician agrees to accept payment from patients in a specified amount for each visit or procedure. The physician may bill the patient directly for his or her services, or the plan may pay the physician a flat fee for contracting services with the plan.
Managed care plans differ from fee-for-service plans in that they use a specific group of doctors for services. It is recommended that persons eligible for Medicare and Medicaid select this plan. With a managed care plan, the physician sees all patients in a predetermined group. If he or she treats a patient’s case, the plan compensates him or her by paying the costs of his or her services minus his or her overhead and commission. Although this type of plan covers more specialized procedures and physician services, it is not as widely available as fee-for-service plans.
The easiest way to determine whether a physician disability insurance plan will be the best choice is to talk with the physician. He or she will be able to explain the specifics of his or her plan. Patients and their representatives can also contact companies offering plans to learn more. This allows the individual to shop around and compare prices.
Physician disability insurance helps provide medical coverage for individuals who cannot function on their own. Although it offers great peace of mind, it is also a major financial expense. In some cases, a physician will refuse to accept the service if a patient does not agree to the policy. Physicians should carefully consider all of their options before choosing a physician disability insurance plan. Doing so ensures that the individual receives the best treatment possible.