Insurance Coverage

Being a physician can be unique because it can mean several things. As a physician, you can choose to work in a hospital. You can equally choose to run a private practice that focuses on a sector of medicine. You could work in a maternity ward and deliver babies or perform cardiac surgeries. 

The list of options is almost inexhaustible. What is more, you can choose to do full-time or in a locum tenens role. Having a locum position affords you certain benefits, but do not be so fast to stop a full-time job in favor of a locum position. 

This is because you have to consider certain factors; one of which is the locum tenens coverage that is necessary. In this article, we will be discussing some insurance coverage that locum tenens physicians need. 

Malpractice Insurance

When it comes to malpractice insurance, there are different policies available to you. Occurrence and claims-made policies are two common ones. 

Claims-made

For you to be covered by this policy, the malpractice claim has to have been filed during the period the policy was held. For instance, let us say you have got a policy between March 2020 and February 2022. The insurance would only cover you throughout this period. So, assuming a claim is made in December 2022, you will not be covered. It also does not matter if the claim is made for an issue that happened during the period the policy was on. As far as the claim came after the expiration of the policy, it will not cover you. 

To avoid this, most people often make additional tail coverage after the expiration of their policy. This additional coverage prolongs the policy’s lifespan and offers you protection against claims even after the policy ends. 

However, for locum tenens physicians, occurrence policies are better choices. 

Occurrence Policy

With this policy, you are protected against claims that occurred during your policy period for life. What this means is, let us assume you had a policy for the whole of 2018, and during this period something happened. Then, the patient chooses to wait till 2021 to file the claims; you would still be protected against it since the occurrence happened when your policy was running. 

While this offers you better protection, it is costlier than a claims-made policy. 

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How Locum Tenens Physicians Can Get a Malpractice Insurance

You can choose to get the insurance via a private insurance carrier, but some locum staffing agencies often help their clients to get one too. However, the option you may get in this case may simply be a claims-made plus tail coverage. 

Most of the time, the coverage price is added to the payment rate. So, if you want to use a private carrier, you could leverage this and bargain for a higher pay. 

Life Insurance

Your age, experience, and specialty does not matter, having life insurance is important. You can read this article to find out more about life insurance. 

While this coverage is important for every medical personnel, it is even more important for those with dependents. This is because your dependents can handle several expenses using the death benefits. The expenses they can cover with it range from utility bills down to mortgage, and even college tuition. 

But this coverage even goes beyond leaving money for your kids and spouse upon your death. You can accumulate wealth through it and get into the unique strategy known as infinite banking. So, at some point, you might choose to borrow money from yourself instead of borrowing from the bank. 

Disability Insurance

This is not just a different type of health coverage, neither is it a means of paying for costly medical care. Rather, it is more of income coverage. This is how it works: 

If a person gets disabled or sick so badly that it prevents them from doing their current job (meaning they are not able to earn their usual income), they can now collect the benefits of their disability insurance. How long the benefits are paid for is often based on the chosen policy. It can pay for 2, 5, 10 years, or can even last up to the person’s retirement age. 

Advantages

With a disability benefit, you would be paid about 60 percent of the income you currently earn. You just need to ensure your policy needs to have an own-occupation definition of disability. You can read this article: https://www.investopedia.com/ to find out what an own occupation means. 

Disadvantages

As far as the policy you choose has an own-occupation definition, you will not experience any downside to this coverage. 

Conclusion

Working locum tenens as a physician can afford you job flexibility that would afford you the chance to do several other things. But you would need some coverage if this were the path you have chosen. Some important insurance coverage you need includes life, malpractice, and disability insurance. 

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