Family doctors have been working throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to help our patients and the public. With those efforts, we have had to consider the possible impacts of getting sick ourselves. There are several options available to physicians (and MOAs) who are seeking an income replacement benefit during a period of illness resulting from COVID-19.
Physicians’ Disability Insurance (PDI) – government funded
Under this benefit, enrolled family doctors can access sickness benefits under regular disability certificate provisions. They can also access income benefits if quarantining due to an exposure to the virus, whether exposed to the virus inside or outside their occupation. There is a maximum of 14 days available under quarantine claims for PDI (nontaxable)..
Disability INCOMEProtect™ or Professional Expense Insurance
Benefits are available for physicians with a positive or presumptive positive test for COVID-19 after completing the elimination period (continuous period of sickness required).
Quarantine Income Replacement (QIR) Benefit
If the above options do not apply, and a doctor is quarantining due to an occupational exposure, the QIR will pay for a maximum of 2 weeks in the amount of $3050 (taxable). Available each time a physician faces new exposures and requires requarantine.
MOAs may have some disability insurance if enrolled in the Doctors of BC Health Benefits Trust Fund Plan, which can pay benefits after 17 weeks of continuous illness following a positive COVID-19 test. MOAs may also qualify for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit for periods of self-isolation or employment insurance sickness benefits for up to 15 weeks at 55% of earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week following a positive test or forced quarantine following an exposure.
The Doctors of BC website has more information on available benefits. You can also find contact information on the website to speak with a licensed insurance advisor in the Doctors of BC Insurance Department about your options.
Information from a recent BCMJ article: Income Replacement Benefits due to COVID-19