Did you know that, according to the Council for Disability Awareness, one out of four millennials will become disabled before they retire? And that a majority of disabilities are due to illness, not injury? That’s why long-term disability insurance is so important, and why even people with white-collar jobs like pharmacists need it.
Pharmacist is a popular profession, and its ranks are expected to grow in the coming years. Future pharmacists need to protect their education spending and their incomes with disability insurance by making sure they find the company that works for them.
Why pharmacists need disability insurance
Pharmacists have the potential to earn a lot of money. Unfortunately, it comes at a high cost. That’s why it’s important for pharmacists to have long-term disability insurance.
Getting a Doctor of Pharmacy degree doesn’t come cheap. The University of Southern California’s pharmacy school has a yearly tuition of around $55,000; the University of North Carolina’s pharmacy school tuition is around $21,000 a year for in-state students and $43,000 for out-of-state students. And that’s not taking into account fees, supplies, room and board or other costs, which can add tens of thousands of dollars.
But it usually pays off in the end. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for pharmacists in 2016 was $122,230.
Like many white-collar jobs, the combination of potentially high student loan debt and potentially high income means it’s important to protect your income and ability to pay off those loans. There’s no better tool to do that than long-term disability insurance.
Best disability insurance companies for pharmacists
|Company||30 years old||40 years old||50 years old|
|Ameritas||$105.42/mo | $1,219.34/yr||$168.13/mo | $1,948.37/yr||$258.27/mo | $2,996.60/yr|
|Assurity*||$125.90/mo | $1,447.29/yr||$211.45/mo | $2,430.35/yr||$281.55/mo | $3,236.69/yr|
|Guardian||$132.09/mo | $1,585.13/yr||$201.87/mo | $2,422.50/yr||$305.69/mo | $3,668.26/yr|
|Principal||$123.09/mo | $1,405.80/yr||$185.53/mo | $2,119.05/yr||$274.26/mo | $3,132.45/yr|
|The Standard||$127.51/mo | $1,457.30/yr||$184.84/mo | $2,112.47/yr||$276.88/mo | $3,164.31/yr|
|MassMutual||$155.95/mo | $1,824.08/yr||$250.46/mo | $2,916.64/yr||$406.49/mo | $4,720.40/yr|
|Mutual of Omaha**||$126.80/mo | $1,449.00/yr||$190.48/mo | $2,176.77/yr||$291.59/mo | $3,332.41/yr|
*Non-cancelable not available
**To age 67 only, non-cancelable not available
Note that you should always consult a licensed expert about your policy. These rates are based on a male, non-smoking New Yorker with a degree and $100,000 annual salary getting a $5,000 monthly disability benefit from a policy with own-occupation, partial benefit, future purchase, non-cancelable and automatic increase benefit options. It also assumes a policy with a recommended 90-day elimination period and benefit period to age 65. Your own customized policy may result in different rates.
What pharmacists need to know about disability insurance
Now that you know which insurance companies offer the best long-term disability rates, here’s what you need to consider if you’re a pharmacist looking for coverage.
Your professional position matters
Registered pharmacists with a degree get the best rates. In contrast, pharmacy technicians typically have higher rates.
You can (and should) buy coverage early
Pharmacy students can buy coverage while they’re in school due to their earning potential, and you can lock in low rates if you apply early.
You should also consider a policy with a student loan protection rider. This will guarantee some of the benefit goes to your student loan lender so you don’t miss a payment.
Even if you’re just entering a practice, you can buy higher coverage amounts with a doctoral or professional degree.
Don’t rely on company benefits
If you’re able to get free disability insurance coverage through your employer, it’s worth taking. But you should also know it’s likely not enough to protect your full income. You should still consider a supplemental private policy to make sure you have as much protection as possible.
Disclosure: Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation’s top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.