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Insurance Your Medical School Must Provide and May Bill You For!

Posted Apr 09 2012 2:00am

A national entity imposes penalties if certain individuals aren’t provided access to insurance.  Think you’ve heard this story before?

What if I told you that the individuals were medical students?  And that the required insurance was… disability insurance ?

Most medical students have no idea that their medical school is required to provide them with “access” to disability insurance.  They might lose their accreditation if they fail to provide you with access to disability insurance.

Most medical schools, including Stanford , Harvard , and Columbia simply build group disability insurance plans into tuition and charge students a small fee for coverage that expires upon graduation.  Others, such as University of Texas Medical School at Houston, “ strongly recommend ” that students consider purchasing their own coverage.

So what’s the big deal?  Most medical students don’t think twice about disability insurance.  But if you’re reading this, you’re ahead of the curve from a financial planning standpoint.

In fact, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) says the question: “Does this medical school offer disability insurance?” is 1 of 35 questions that prospective medical students should ask themselves before deciding where to enroll.

So what’s the takeaway for medical students?  This “insurance mandate” underscores just how important disability insurance for medical students is.

And, it becomes even more important when you graduate.  Disability insurance is more important when you actually have a salary to protect, and thus means more to physicians than to people in high-risk (but lower paying) professions, such as roofing, coal mining, and commercial fishing .

Further, disability insurance is cheaper when you are younger , meaning that graduates and medical residents can purchase individual policies and lock in low rates on flexible policies that increase in coverage as their salaries increase.

How does your medical school handle disability insurance?  Are you charged directly?  Was its importance explained to you?

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