Physician Disability Insurance Checklist: Does the A.A.F.P. Plan Pass? (Part 1 of 2)

Physician disability insurance Checklist Against Group Plans
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As a highly organized community of over 100,000 members across the United States, the American Academy of Family Physicians (A.A.F.P) is able to offer its members several valuable benefits. Some of these benefits include discounts for life insurance, auto and homeowner insurance, practice overhead insurance and disability insurance among others. While many of these reflect great discounts for a quality product, it is important for physicians to be particularly cautious in regards to the disability insurance they decide to purchase.

Therefore, in this two part post, we will be comparing the disability insurance product offered through the A.A.F.P against high-performing private disability insurance.

It is very important – and very common – to “test” your disability insurance coverage before you have a serious illness or injury.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (A.A.F.P) was founded in 1947. This medical association, comprised of family physicians, resident and medical student members, services the community by focusing both on helping doctors succeed and promoting a healthy, well-informed population. They are able to accomplish this through proactive advocacy for doctor and patient rights, enhancing a doctor’s ability to grow their practice, promoting a high-quality standard of doctor’s education and establishing itself as a leader in health promotion of the public.

Many articles have been written in magazines such as Medical Economics, Private Practice, Money Magazine and Consumer Reports to help you make an informed decision about disability insurance. By using four recurring topics from these articles, I will put the American Academy of Family Physicians (A.A.F.P.) plan to the “test.”

1. Is the policy non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable?
A.A.F.P. Plan Brochure* – Premiums go up at five-year age brackets (30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60). Per A.A.F.P. brochure, the premium contributions shown reflect the current rate and benefit structure. Premium contributions may be changed by New York Life Insurance Company on any premium due date and any date on which benefits are changed. However, your rates may change only if changed for all others in the same class of insured’s under this association-group insurance policy. Benefit amounts are NOT guaranteed and are subject to change by agreement between New York Life Insurance Company and the A.A.F.P.

A.A.F.P. Plan Brochure – When Coverage Ends: Once approved, you can continue your coverage to age 70, as long as you pay all premium contributions when due, you remain at Full-Time Work, THE GROUP POLICY REMAINS IN FORCE, and you do not enter active duty in the Armed Forces. NOTE: Your coverage can continue without interruption or cost penalty if you change employers or discontinue membership in the Academy.

A.A.F.P. Plan Fails This Test
Coverage can be cancelled and premiums are not guaranteed…

2. Is total disability defined in your policy as Own Occupation/Own Specialty without qualifications?
A.A.F.P. Plan Brochure – Total disability means you are completely and continuously unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your profession or occupation for pay or profit due to accidental bodily injury or sickness, PROVIDED YOU ARE NOT OTHERWISE WORKING FOR PAY OR PROFIT.

A.A.F.P. Plan Fails this Test
Not true own occupation/own specialty coverage. In this coverage, if you are unable to perform as a family physician, but decide to explore a career in teaching, or any other career, you will no longer be eligible for total disability benefits.

Stay tuned for our next post early next week that covers two more areas where we put the A.A.F.P. Plan to the test. It is very important – and very common – to “test” your disability insurance coverage before you have a serious illness or injury. No disability insurance policy is a worthwhile product if it does not provide income replacement in the event of a disability.

You’re welcome to contact us even sooner if you would like to run your current policy through the test. Whether it is a Group, Association or Individual disability insurance policy, we perform free policy reviews and quotes.

*A.A.F.P Insurance Information used in this post can be found in their online brochure.

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