Whether just entering the workforce or many years into their career, many orthodontists are facing the decision to affiliate with an orthodontic service organization (OSO) or dental support organization (DSO). If you are faced with this decision, it’s important to understand how this change impacts how you insure yourself, your career and your future.
Your new employer will likely provide certain insurance policies and other benefits, but there are still ways the AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program can support you through the evolution of your career.
Read on to learn answers to frequently asked questions about insurance for DSO and OSO-employed orthodontists and how to ensure you are fully protected.
FAQs about Insurance for DSO and OSO-Employed Orthodontists
Whether you currently work for a DSO or OSO or are considering it for the future, it is important to consider these questions about your insurance.
- What policies are often provided by DSOs and OSOs?
While it varies from organization to organization, Malpractice insurance and life insurance are commonly included as an employment benefit. Short-term disability, health insurance and dental and vision insurance may be offered.
- I just joined a DSO/OSO. Should I drop my previous policies?
If your employer offers disability insurance and life insurance, you may be tempted to cancel any overlapping policies you have.
First it is important to compare coverage being offered by your employer and your current coverage. Are limits the same? Are there added or missing benefits?
For example, many employer disability policies have offsets that could reduce benefits, such as:
- Own occupation stipulations for the first two years of a disability, so that benefits are only provided if you are unable to work at any occupation, not just unable to work as an orthodontist.
- Requirements to qualify for Social Security disability insurance to receive company benefits, which can be a long, drawn-out process.
It is also important to note that if, in the future, you decide to leave your employer, any coverage available through them would cease. Whereas coverage through the AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program is tied to your AAO membership, so it can stay with you throughout your career.
- Do I need to supplement the policies offered through my employer?
Depending on the policies offered by your employer, you may want supplemental policies to meet your policy and limit needs.
For example, if your employer offers short-term disability coverage, but the monthly benefits are far less than previous policies you’ve had, you may want to stick with the policy with more substantial benefits.
Similarly, if your employer short-term disability but does not offer long-term disability, you will likely want to find long-term disability coverage elsewhere.
If you need help determining the right level of coverage for you, schedule a complimentary risk evaluation from Lockton Affinity.
- I have plenty of money saved, could I self-insure if necessary?
As your progress in your career, you may have a solid nest egg or substantial retirement savings. With plenty of financial assets available, you may be tempted to “self-insure” if you experienced a disability.
However, it is worth considering how your life and retirement would change if those savings were utilized for a disability. Would you have the same quality of life? Could you live in the community you wanted? Would you have to make sacrifices in other areas? Would you have to dip into other financial assets?
If you believe the life and retirement plans you have for yourself would be majorly disrupted by self-insuring, it may be a good idea to secure short-term and long-term disability coverage, depending on your situation.
Meeting Your Insurance Needs Now and in the Future
Lockton Affinity has been offering best-in-class insurance for health professionals for more than 30 years. Our dedicated team understands the risks you face whether you are a member of a DSO or OSO, own your practice or are an orthodontic resident. When you partner with Lockton Affinity, you can expect more than insurance.
For more information about the coverage you may need as a DSO or OSO employee, contact Lockton Affinity dedicated representatives today. Get started at (844) 893-9888 or [email protected].
For more information including features, costs, eligibility, renewability, limitations and exclusions, visit AAO-Insurance.com.
This marketing material is not intended for the residents of New Mexico with respect to Group Disability Insurance.