Group Versus Individual Short Term Disability Coverage
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What Are the Pros and Cons of Group Versus Individual Short Term Disability Coverage?
Both group and individual short term disability insurance coverages are positive additions to your package of protection. Here are the pros and cons for group short term disability insurance.
- Pro: Cost. Since premiums are calculated at group rates, the cost of protection is noticeably less than individual short term disability protection.
- Pro: Easier to qualify for coverage. Often no medical information need be submitted to be issued insurance coverage.
- Con: Absence of personalized features. Group coverage seldom allows you to add or modify features of the policy that you feel you should have.
Individual short term disability insurance coverage also has good and bad features.
- Pro: Ability to customize. You have the ability to purchase exactly the coverage level you feel you need, unaffected by the coverage or financial imitations of an employer's or association's budget or desire.
- Pro: Definition of disability. Instead of being required to accept “any occupation” disability definitions (you're no longer disabled if you can perform the duties of any gainful occupation), you can add “own occupation” coverage (you're eligible for continuing benefits until you can perform the duties of your specialty). Medical and other professionals should strongly consider this provision along with some other options that may be available.
- Con: Health issues could pose a problem. Unlike group coverage, you'll probably need to have a physical exam conducted by a health professional to determine your current medical condition.
- Con: Higher premium cost. Since you do not enjoy the benefit of a group "risk pool", your premiums will often be higher than with group short term disability insurance programs. However, your level of protection will typically be better.
Short term disability coverage is an important component of your overall health insurance package. Group disability insurance can be a wonderful benefit provided by your employer or association. If you are a medical or other highly compensated and skilled professional, you should consider purchasing individual short term disability insurance as it typically offers better protection and security for you.
Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.