My name is Dr. Lavonne K. Fore. I am an orthodontist in Rome, Ga. After reading Dr. Sharon Szeszycki’s “Idle Thoughts” column in the May 2005 issue of Woman Dentist Journal, I knew that I had to write about Linda, my office manager. Linda is a trusted employee and truly the best champion I have to support me. She has worked for me for more than seven years and has supervised many employees. Through it all, she has developed her skills and knowledge to become the best office manager, treatment coordinator, director of marketing, and more that a doctor could ever desire. I cannot fully express the gratitude that I feel toward her for working with me over the years. She has supported me through the tough times and the good times.
How do other women dentists cope with the pressures, stresses, and life issues that confront us daily without a “Linda”? No matter what situation arises, I know that together Linda and I can tackle the problem. There must be many other women dentists like me who have relied on a trusted employee who improved the practice and reduced their overall stress level just as Linda has done in my practice.
Dr. Lavonne K. Fore
As an insurance actuary who works on the American Dental Association’s members insurance program underwritten by Great-West, I read with particular interest the article about women and disability insurance (“Disability Insurance and Female Dentists” by Ron Cohen, RHU, RR) in the July/August 2005 issue of Woman Dentist Journal. As the author noted, women dentists do often encounter higher disability premiums than their male counterparts.
The multi-life discounts described by the author are one way to circumvent this disparity. However, there is another accessible, viable option that allows women dentists to pay the same rates as men - group insurance.
Unisex rates are generally the norm for group life and disability policies offered through organizations or professional associations such as the ADA, and are available to dentists on an individual basis. In addition, group insurance plans typically cost less than multi-life individual policies because of the volume of the sponsoring organization and/or the large number of participants being insured.
The ADA, for example, has more than 140,000 participants in its group insurance plans. The ADA sponsors these plans on a not-for-profit basis, meaning no part of the profits are paid to the organization. This helps keep rates lower than other individual or group policies. In the illustration provided by the author, for example, ADA premiums for a comparable disability policy are 30 percent less than the lowest rates shown.
Group plans available to dentists are an important option to explore. I invite the readers of Woman Dentist Journal to learn more about disability plans and other group insurance plans available to male and female dentists for the same low cost by visiting the ADA Insurance Plans’ Web site at www.insurance.ada.org, or call (888) 463-4545.
Thomas E. Kacirek, FSA, MAAA
Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company
Underwriter and administrator of the ADA Insurance Plans