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December 2017 News Bulletin

Disability — An Income Gap That Grows

Tom Bryant

— Thomas J. Bryant, ARM

Disability statistics are not a topic most of us delve into deeply. Yet this risk arises out of unforeseen events that are much more common than most of us realize. This month a colleague shared a few statistics with me.  Important risks that most of us imagine are far more common, like being the victim of identity theft (1 in 14 odds) or being the subject of an IRS audit (1 in 104 odds), turn out to be rare in comparison to becoming too sick or hurt to work for an extended period (1 in 4 odds). 

Statistically, in the physician population, the risk of disability is rarely permanent. It is more likely that for a period of a year or two, a physician may have an unexpected interruption that has the potential to be devastating to their financial security and that of their family. Even a temporary illness or an injury may impact the ability to pick up a scalpel, examine a patient, or review a test.

Many physicians carry some type of disability income coverage, whether individually and/or through an employer. Making the decision to protect their income stream from interruption is critical, given how much time a physician must invest before reaching full earning potential, and how relatively little time they have in which to earn. But equally so, it is important to reassess coverage limits periodically. Individual disability coverage is often easiest to purchase early in a career, but requires a significant amount of personal health information. Group disability is often guaranteed issue, without the onerous health requirements, but not portable. And as a career develops, gaps can open between net income and disability coverage limits, particularly as a physician adds income streams.

Fortunately, there are guaranteed issue, non-cancelable disability income solutions that can be used to supplement any group long term disability coverage. And discounts are available depending on the size of the group. PIAM can help you access solutions through our financial services team at Baystate Financial- Medical Division.  Depending on the group size and healthcare affiliations, discounts up to 25% may be possible, and there are other factors that can result in even greater savings for female physicians. For more information I can be reached at, or call 781-434-7391

Thomas J. Bryant, ARM, President

Tom has been  with PIAM since 2011, and assumed the reins of President in early June 2017. Over the past five years, he has spoken on Professional Liability and other Insurance issues at UMASS, Tufts,  MMS Senior Physician Committee events, and at  the PPRC- Young Physicians Workshop.  He has also been an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI since the 2016 term. If you have questions about how to strengthen your insurance program, or would like to discuss a speaking engagement.

Contact PIAM

  • Telephone Numbers
781-434-7525 Insurance All Departments
781-434-7398 Medigap, MMS Member Benefits, Health, Financial Services, and Long-Term Care
  • Fax Number
  • 781-434-6929