During your regular dental school curriculum, Professional Liability insurance, commonly called Malpractice insurance, is provided by the school. Malpractice coverage is also usually provided at no cost by insurance carriers when you take your Regional Boards. However, there may be exceptions requiring personal coverage if you are participating in events outside of school. Examples of situations that might require separate coverage include student externships, taking State Board Exams, or participating in mission trips. Inexpensive student Malpractice policies are available for those occasions.
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- Disability Insurance
Disability insurance provides an income to you and your family if you are unable to work because of illness or injury. When you apply for disability insurance, past medical history is requested along with a current medical exam. It is important to set up a disability policy as soon as possible because your health may change and prevent you from applying for coverage later.
As a 3rd year student, the insurance companies will now consider you for a small monthly benefit in order to protect your future income.
Fourth year students nearing graduation are now eligible to apply for personal Disability Insurance based on becoming a new dentist. Typically, you are allowed a significant amount of monthly benefit within the first year of your graduation and large amount of Future Purchase Options without showing proof of income.
Personal policies can be “locked in” regarding your age, your price, your health, and the definitions of disability when you set them up. Always remember to get a policy with a “true own occupation” definition of disability and one that has no limitations for mental nervous disorders. If you decide not to buy disability insurance as a student, it is critical that you consider this type of coverage when you graduate, even if you are entering a residency program.
- Life Insurance
A student should consider life insurance if he or she is married, has a mortgage someone is responsible for, currently has any personal debt, or if he or she has children. In the event of a tragedy, life insurance proceeds can help pay the bills, continue a family business, finance future needs like your children’s education, protect your spouse’s retirement plans, and much more. There are many types of insurance but the two main categories are “term” insurance and “permanent” insurance. Most students should only consider term insurance since the cost is typically very affordable as a student, but everyone’s situation is different. Let us sit down with you to determine what sort of plan will meet your goals and budget and when you need this sort of coverage.
- Health Insurance
As a dental student, you have access to a University-provided health plan that will typically suit a single dental student well. Generally, you are required to utilize the school’s medical facilities. If you want to add a spouse or children, the university plan usually becomes less cost effective, so it may be in your best interest to acquire health insurance from another source.
If you are under 26, you are still eligible to be covered under your parents’ health plan, even if you are married or employed. If your spouse has a job that offers health insurance, it won’t necessarily be less expensive than getting coverage from the university plan or an individual plan.
If you plan on having children, Maternity coverage must be purchased sometimes up to 18 months before you become pregnant. These strict requirements vary from state to state and the type of policy to which you have access. Talk to us about your situation to see when you need to start considering this important coverage.
Aside from understanding where you can get health insurance, it’s important to know that there are many different types of health insurance plans, each with their own set of costs, benefits, and limitations. For example, a Health Savings Account (HSA) offers smaller premiums and a different type of coverage than a traditional plan; the HSA suits healthy individuals who need minimal care from a doctor and have inexpensive prescriptions. Finding the most cost-effective solution is best accomplished by talking with an agent to identify which type of plan suits you and then comparing quotes.
The “time value of money” principle shows that it is not how much you save each month, but rather that you start saving a little each month as soon as possible to accumulate money for retirement. There are many good options for you to consider especially if you had any type of IRA or 401K established prior to dental school. Based on current options available, the Roth IRA may be the best choice for rolling money from previous plans. If you do start to invest as a student, we can design a personalized plan that takes into consideration your saving goals, yourrisk tolerance, and the advantages of dollar cost averaging.
- Dental Property Coverage
As a dental student, your school provides all the equipment and supplies you need for your curriculum. Some students, however, purchase some of their own equipment such as loops or handpieces. This equipment is not covered for theft or loss by the school and can easily “disappear.” Inexpensive “Black Bag” policies are available to cover your personal dental equipment.