Consider securing your Disability Insurance first
In Fourth year of their DDS Studies, many students will consider participation in the International Student Outreach Program. This program provides DDS4 students with opportunities to stretch and grow their clinical skills in the field while making a meaningful difference in the lives of people in underserviced parts of the world. We had several students who went to Africa as a part of the program and the experience was rewarding and memorable.
With opportunities to travel abroad and make a truly meaningful difference in the lives of people in underserviced parts of the world, in fourth year many students will considering participating in the International Student Outreach Program. We have several clients who went to Africa at the end of the DDS program and they all reported it to be a rewarding, memorable and moving experience.
However, traveling to these areas can have a lasting impact on a dentist’s disability insurance plan.
While many policies have a benign travel restriction (i.e. if you are disabled while traveling overseas, you must return to Canada to be treated by a doctor before your waiting period starts) with this type of humanitarian travel the impact can be more significant.
First, once you have made the commitment to go, your application processing is likely to be postponed until after the trip. If anything happens to your health in the intervening weeks or months, whether while in Canada or while on the trip, you may end up with a rating (i.e. higher cost), an exclusion or even a decline.
Second, even after safely returning to Canada, the insurer may issue the policy with a foreign travel exclusion. This is for two main reasons:
- People sometimes get the “travel bug” and decide to make it a regular part of their life to visit risky areas of the globe, exposing them to terrorism, civil unrest and diseases such as malaria.
- People sometimes develop psychological conditions resulting from feelings of frustration and guilt after they return to Canada.
We can typically apply to have the travel restriction removed after a few years if there are no ill effects and no plans to continue this type of travel.
The Global Outreach program is an excellent experience, allowing students to practice the art and craft of compassionate community care. If you are considering applying for the program connect with us first to put your disability insurance in place beforehand and reduce the risk of issues that could arise. The beginning of your fourth year is an ideal time.
Nothing in this advice is meant to dissuade you from participating in the program. We understand it can be a great experience. But if you are considering putting your name forward, please contact us and get your disability insurance policy in place beforehand. You may want to do this before beginning your fourth year.
This is the type of highly-relevant, dentistry-specific insight and advice that you can expect from us at Protect Financial; specialists in financial planning and insurance for Dentists!