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Disability Insurance for Pain Medicine & Management: Cost + Eligibility Guide

Key Takeaways:

  • Pain medicine and pain management physicians are highly skilled and command a high salary worth protecting. 
  • Getting physician disability insurance is a smart move for those working in pain medicine as it can be a higher-risk profession, with more claims filed. 
  • Your job is specialized, and getting true-own occupation coverage can protect your income.

No one likes dealing with excruciating pain that can derail your day and make tasks or work impossible. That’s why working in pain medicine and pain management can be rewarding, as you work directly with patients to help prevent, treat and diagnose their pain. As part of your rewarding job, you command a high salary that should be protected through physician disability insurance. 

The average salary for a pain management physician is $312,027 per year, according to ZipRecruiter. Earning that much and having spent close to a decade on your education, it’s important to safeguard your income in the event of disability. Although it can be unsettling to think about, it’s a smart idea to protect one of the most valuable assets you have — your livelihood. This is especially true because pain medicine and pain management physicians tend to be considered higher risk. Read on to learn more about physician disability insurance, costs and how you can protect yourself. 

Pain medicine physician disability insurance premium cost

Long-term disability insurance costs are based on many factors. Insurers take into consideration your age, whether you have a history of smoking, where you live, current or past medical issues, and more. Each company has its own underwriting process. 

Though the cost of disability insurance varies from person to person, a solid benchmark is paying 2% to 4% of your income for a long-term disability insurance policy. 

Pain medicine own-occupation disability insurance monthly cost
(Age 34, resident/fellow)

*NOTE: True own occupation definition, $5,000 base monthly benefit, $15,000 future increase benefit, Residual / recovery and mental / nervous coverage added. 3% inflation rider. 90 day elimination period. Includes 10%-30% discounts available through SLP Insurance LLC

Common premium charges for physician disability insurance for residents and fellows in pain medicine can range from $143 to $297 per month.

The cost can fluctuate based on the insurance company, your gender, your state, where you go to residency, and more.

Remember, insurers tend to classify pain medicine as a specialty that has a higher chance of filing a disability claim, and therefore, a policy might charge higher premiums. Fill in your information below, in order to get a custom quote from us for pain medicine physician disability insurance. SLP Insurance LLC can get you discounts up to 30% for true-own occupation coverage. If you'd like to see what your specific premiums might be, submit the form below to get a unique quote. 

Find Your Cheapest Coverage with SLP Insurance™

Own-Occupation Disability Insurance Quote Form

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Why do pain medicine and pain management physicians buy disability insurance?

Getting physician disability insurance should be a key part of your financial planning. Creating a strong financial plan with the right types of insurance can protect you in a wide range of circumstances. 

A disability insurance policy can provide financial compensation for a specific period of time (called the benefit period), depending on the type of policy you purchase. 

For example, there are short-term disability insurance policies that can cover a few months and long-term disability insurance policies that can provide disability benefits for a couple of years or up to when you’re around retirement age. 

As a pain medicine and pain management physician, you help care for others in their time of need. By getting the right coverage in place, you can protect yourself financially so you can have a soft landing should the unexpected happen. Because of the higher risk, investing in a policy now can add a layer of protection for your income. 

What should pain medicine and pain management physicians disability insurance cover?

The most important type of coverage to get for pain medicine and pain management physicians is a long-term disability insurance policy. 

A hefty emergency fund might help you in the short-term, but long-term disability policies are where the robust protections come in handy. To maximize your disability insurance benefits, there are optional riders that can cover all of your bases:

  • An own-occupation policy. This is the most crucial part of your policy. Getting anything else might mean missing out on compensation if you could theoretically do another job. Having an own-occupation policy means you’re protected if you can’t do your exact profession. 
  • Future increase rider. If you’re a resident right now, you might be able to obtain a certain amount of coverage. By getting a future increase rider, you can obtain additional coverage without undergoing a medical exam. 
  • Residual disability benefits. Under this option, if you experience partial disability, you can still receive partial benefits as well. 
  • Catastrophic disability. There are different levels of disability. Whereas residual benefits can payout if you’re partially disabled, catastrophic disability can provide benefits for the other extreme. If your disability means losing certain abilities and the ability to care for yourself, this option can help finance caregiving assistance. 

Getting these additional riders and enough coverage to support fixed expenses can ensure you’re taken care of. Before purchasing a policy, look at the benefit amount to verify that it covers all of your current fixed expenses and then some. 

How often do pain medicine and pain management physicians file disability insurance claims? 

According to our insurance partner data, physicians working in pain medicine and pain management have a higher likelihood of filing a disability insurance claim. In your field, you might be prescribing medicines or performing certain medical procedures that might add to your odds of filing a claim. 

Don’t let that scare you — it just means you have more to protect. It can also mean you have higher premiums than other medical school graduates with a different specialty. But considering the higher risk, obtaining physician disability insurance can be a smart investment and a much-needed safeguard. 

What kind of disability insurance coverage is offered to pain medicine and pain management physicians?

If you want to take steps to protect your income as a pain medicine and pain management physician, there are many places you can find coverage. 

Employer-offered group disability insurance

One of the go-to places for physician disability insurance is through your employer. You may be able to get a group policy. Although this is a perk, review how much coverage you’re actually getting through this option. 

For example, if your benefit amount is $5,000 on a group plan, but you need double that amount to feel safe and cover your expenses, the group coverage won’t be enough. Also, if you’re self-employed this likely isn’t an option. 

Professional association 

Physician disability insurance is offered through the American Medical Association (AMA). You can also see if any professional associations you’re a part of offer it to members. For example, you can ask if the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) offers anything or can point you in the right direction. 

Individual policy 

If you’re self-employed or can’t find sufficient group coverage with the other options, you can get an individual disability insurance plan from a broker. A broker customizes your options and looks at true-own occupation policies from top insurers. 

Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI) policies for pain medicine and pain management physicians 

A guaranteed standard issue policy can be a best-kept secret and isn’t as widely discussed. Typically, GSI policies are reserved for residents and fellows. 

The major perk about GSI plans is that you can lock in a policy regardless of any medical conditions or medical history. This is a win for physicians with any pre-existing conditions. On top of that, certain discounts might be available through this option as well. 

GSI policies are available at various institutions and schools, including Stony Brook University, University of Iowa, University of Kentucky and more. 

If you’re looking for the best true-own occupation physician disability insurance, SLP insurance can suggest policies and discounts tailored to your needs. Get a personalized quote below, and partner agents will reach out soon. 

How much disability insurance do pain medicine and pain management physicians need?

Getting long-term disability coverage doesn’t replace all of your income, but it can help cover about 60% of your pay. Physicians in pain medicine and pain management earn an average of  $312,027 per year, based on ZipRecruiter data. So it’s possible to get a maximum monthly benefit of $15,601.35.

Depending on where you live and your skills, your income might be higher, in which case a higher policy benefit limit be worthwhile. Before thinking about how much coverage you need, consider the payout amount and cost.

Pain medicine and pain management physician disability payout amount

Whatever your salary is, expect the maximum benefit to be around 60% of your income. Given the example above, that will be $15,000 or so for pain medicine physicians. 

It’s important to note that buying an individual policy using after-tax dollars makes this benefit tax-free, which is a major advantage. On the other hand, employer coverage options are considered taxable income. 

As part of determining your coverage amount, consider the maximum benefit allowed, and your other living expenses, like housing, food, student loan payments, child care, and any other necessary costs. Remember, if you can’t work, you’ll rely on this disability benefit to help you financially, especially since Social Security disability coverage only offers so much.

If you take on the lion’s share of expenses in your household or are the sole provider, getting the highest coverage can make sense. 

Why you need to review your pain medicine and pain management physician disability insurance policy

Before shopping around and buying a policy, these are the main points to review in a disability insurance policy: 

  • Getting true-own occupation coverage. This is non-negotiable, and you want to make sure this is clear. 
  • Pre-existing condition language. If you have a pre-existing condition, take additional care to read through the restrictions and language about coverage and benefits. Discuss your options with a broker to find the best deal. 
  • Compare your options. Shop around and check out rates to make sure you’re not overpaying. 
  • Ensure you’re sufficiently covered. If you have coverage right now, make sure you’re not undercovered. Your monthly benefit won’t cover all of your expenses, but you also want to avoid making drastic lifestyle changes after sustaining an injury or illness. 

Get a disability insurance quote for pain medicine and pain management physicians 

Don’t put yourself at risk, given the higher risk of filing a disability claim. Get disability coverage and get a quote from SLP insurance. Our insurance agents work tirelessly to ensure you get the right policy and true-own occupation coverage. We’ll offer you a personalized quote and refer you somewhere else if we can’t help. Submit your info using the form below, and we’ll reach out soon!

Own-Occupation Disability Insurance Quote Form

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