As an essential worker whose been at the forefront of aid during the pandemic, you’ve seen your fair share of medical emergencies and helped those in need. But what happens when you yourself get sick or injured? How would your life change? How would you replace your income if you got too sick or injured to work?
Some people have enough money saved away to sustain themselves through long periods without an income – but what if you didn’t? In the United States, living paycheck to paycheck is the most prevalent financial lifestyle, with a rising number of even high-income individuals living this way. Disability insurance (or disability income insurance as we like to call it at Asteya) is your financial safety net should the unpredictable happen. Disability isn’t just a theoretical possibility; 1 in 4 working adults will become disabled during their working years.
Why does every nurse practitioner need disability insurance?
To answer this question, let's start by defining what disability insurance, or income insurance as we like to call it at Asteya, is. You can think of disability insurance as your financial safety net! It's a policy that supplements your income if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury. Misconceptions around disability insurance being too expensive or having a lengthy application process lead to it being often overlooked as a necessary form of financial and well-being protection.
Many professionals don't think disability insurance is important because they either don’t know what disability insurance is or are miseducated about its benefits. It's often believed that disability insurance only covers the kinds of injuries that can happen on a construction site or factory floor, but did you know that most disabilities are actually caused by health problems? In fact, according to a study by Council for Disability Awareness, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis cause 90% of long-term disabilities. The same study reveals that 95% of accidents and illnesses that can get in the way of your work are not actually caused by the job itself.
As a nurse practitioner, you've spent years studying and working hard to ensure the safety of your patients. Nurses are always at the front lines helping and caring for other people before they do so for themselves. And often see firsthand how any small medical complication can heavily affect a patient's physical, mental and financial well-being. So it comes as no shock to know that, according to the National Library of Medicine, nursing has a higher rate of both short-term and long-term illness and injury than other professions. When a nurse suffers an injury that prevents them from returning to work for an extended period of time, they may face an entirely new set of challenges: finances.
“I have an emergency savings account that I can rely on; I don't need disability insurance."
You might think, “I have an emergency savings account, so I don’t need disability insurance.” If that’s the case, that’s incredible! But even if you have enough savings to provide yourself and your dependents with a financial safety net when the unexpected happens, have you thought about how long your savings could sustain you? Or what draining your savings would mean for the future? For example, you might not be able to afford college tuition for your kids. The reality is that disabilities are unpredictable—they can happen anytime, anywhere, so being prepared for the unexpected is your best line of defense.
“I can get benefits from SSDI; I don’t need additional coverage.”
Some people that become disabled can get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, disability benefits from Social Security tend to be insufficient, with small and limited payouts. As of 2021, the average monthly payment received by people with a disability through social security benefits is approximately $1,280 per month, or $320 per week, which is usually not enough to meet basic living costs, let alone retirement and other long-term goals. Having a private disability insurance policy can be the best way to protect your income sufficiently, as it typically covers 60-80% of your income as a nurse practitioner.
“Disability Insurance is super expensive; I’m not sure I can afford it.”
Protecting your income shouldn’t be a luxury, so here at Asteya, we’ve created affordable and easy solutions that won’t drain what you’re trying to protect (your income!). We offer disability insurance (or disability income insurance, as we like to call it) that’s simple, fast, and affordable. Our 100% digital process means we don’t tire you out with proof of income, medical exams, phone interviews, or wait times, so you can go from applicant to insured in no time. Our prices start as low as:
Permanent Disability Income Insurance: starting at $6.05/month
Sickness & Injury Disability Income Insurance: starting at $5/month
How much disability coverage do nurse practitioners need?
As a nurse, you face many professional dangers that put your body and mind at risk of injury or disease. Moreover, the many physical components of being a nurse can take a significant toll on you over time, from always being on your feet and lifting patients to ongoing high-stress and job overload. Having disability insurance is necessary, but how much disability coverage do you need as a nurse?
At the very least, disability insurance should cover your living expenses and immediate financial commitments. If your budget allows, we recommend buying the biggest disability insurance benefit available. The maximum benefit in most circumstances will be around 60% of your salary.
How much does disability insurance for nurse practitioners cost?
Nursing careers require you to invest significant time and money in developing your skills and establishing a career. While the cost of becoming a nurse varies depending on the path you choose, education and licensing fees can easily exceed six figures. According to Nursejournal.com, getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can cost as much as $100,000.
This industry also generates healthy earnings, which must be protected. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average nurse practitioner’s income is $114,510. These numbers, combined with the high risk of disability in the nursing industry, make disability insurance imperative for nurses. So how much coverage would you need as a nurse?
The cost of nurses' disability insurance is based on the following criteria used by insurance companies:
- Your age and health; Generally, premiums are more affordable for younger, healthier individuals.
- Your income: When an injury or illness prevents you from working as a nurse, disability insurance can help replace a portion of your salary.
- Where you live.
- The type of nursing you practice and the facility you work in.
Generally, you should expect to pay between 1% and 3% of your annual salary. Your income directly impacts the amount of coverage you’ll receive, so the higher your income, the higher your benefit amount and the more you can expect to pay in monthly premiums.
How to apply for disability insurance as a nurse practitioner
Insurance companies categorize jobs into various risk categories based on previous data. The greater your risk of submitting a claim, the higher your premium. According to statistics, the older you are, the more likely you are to become disabled and the more likely you are to have higher premiums. By getting coverage now, you can save money in the long run.
When a nurse practitioner works for a company, they usually receive disability insurance as part of their benefits package. On the contrary, self-employed nurse practitioners may choose to invest in both short-term and long-term disability insurance in case they experience any future setbacks in their business owing to a health problem.
At Asteya, applying for disability insurance as a nurse practitioner is simple. With an application that is completely digital, there’s no need for medical exams, blood tests, phone calls, or lengthy paper applications. And, Asteya's underwriting occurs in real-time, so you can obtain a policy in 30 minutes or less!
What are the typical extras that nurse practitioners should add to their insurance?
- Own-Occupation Coverage: Own-occupation disability insurance for nurses, as opposed to any occupation coverage, provides the maximum protection because you are more likely to receive payments in the event of an injury or illness. If you have any occupation coverage, you may be required to choose a job that you can physically perform, even if it pays considerably less than your nursing income. With own-occupation coverage, you would be paid if you were unable to conduct your customary nursing tasks.
- Residual Rider: A residual benefit permits you to receive a portion of your disability benefit after you return to work, even if just part-time. To qualify for residual disability benefits, most companies require a 20% loss of income compared to your pre-disability salary.
- Future Increase Options/Benefit Update/Benefit Purchase: Each company has a different name for it, but the significance remains the same. If your salary rises or you lose your group disability benefits, you can expand your coverage without further medical underwriting in the future.
The bottom line
No matter your occupation or your background, disability insurance should be one of the main policies that you should consider getting. The peace of mind that comes with having disability insurance is knowing that you and your family's livelihoods and lifestyles will be covered if you become too ill or injured to work.