Learn the Different Types of “Disability” as Defined by Doctor Disability Insurance Coverage
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Are There Different Types of “Disability” as Defined by Doctor Disability Insurance Coverage?
Some areas of disability insurance, unlike life insurance for instance, can sometimes appear to be more gray than black or white. Defining disability, then determining whether it is covered or excluded from a doctor disability insurance policy, can vary a bit from insurance company to company. There is some consensus on three major categories of disability that you should know.
- Total disability. Physician disability insurance normally pays benefits if you have suffered an injury or sickness that causes you to be unable to perform most material duties of your regular occupation. Total disability can be further classified as temporary or permanent.
- Residual disability. Some doctor's disability insurance coverage allows for this category with varying definitions. Basically this term refers to partial, not total, disability and may be covered in some policies, using a rider or addendum. For example, assume you suffer injury or sickness that does not totally prevent you from generating income, but results in a 20%, 30%, etc. loss in earning ability. If you have purchased this coverage, you may still be eligible for benefit payments to help make up for your loss.
- Presumptive disability. Although there are some variations in definition, this provision generally states that, should you lose certain required abilities, you qualify for benefit payments. In general, should you lose your sight, hearing, speech, or two limbs, you may qualify for benefits under this type of disability. The loss of these abilities often need not be permanent, so even a temporary loss may make you eligible for benefits. For instance, assume you suffer an injury that takes away your sight temporarily or you severely break both arms or legs, making you unable to perform any of your duties for some period of time. If you have this coverage, you may be eligible for benefits.
As you consider disability insurance for doctors as part of your physician health care package, learn how your insurer defines disability in your specific policy to avoid any future misunderstandings.
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.