For physicians seeking hospitalist jobs, there are several distinct employment options. As increasing numbers of hospitals contract with physician practices to provide hospital medicine coverage versus employing their own hospitalist physicians, the number of 1099, or independent contractor, hospital medicine jobs continue to grow.

For physicians who have always practiced under the W-2 employee model, the idea of self-employment as an independent contractor can be intimidating. The first thoughts that come to mind tend to be reluctance to take on more complicated taxes and shopping for benefits – it can all sound a bit daunting!  The great news is that it doesn’t have to be, and in fact, IC status offers many advantages over employment for physicians seeking hospitalist jobs.

1. Increase Your Control over Your Earnings

As an employed hospitalist, your retirement plan, insurance and other benefits are all selected for you. While this arrangement is quick and easy, there are huge advantages associated with the ability to select your own benefits. As an independent contractor, you control your own level of retirement funding, insurance deductibles, life insurance plan, CME and other benefits. Rather than an “excellent compensation package” that covers the inflated cost of group benefits for others in your practice, you choose which benefits you pay only for what you want or need – saving the rest for yourself!

2. Leverage Pre-Tax Dollars to Purchase More Benefits

As an employee, if you choose to purchase additional benefits, they are purchased after taxes.  This means that the benefits actually cost you and your family about 70% more. As an independent contractor, you not only save money by selecting the benefits you want and need, but you purchase these plans with pre-tax dollars.

3. Boost your retirement savings

As an employee, the amount of money you can save for retirement in a pre-tax plan is decided for you. Many healthcare employers provide employees with 401K plans, such that the physician can save a limited amount each year.  As an independent contractor, you can save far more pre-tax money through a defined-benefit plan or solo 401K. With a solo 401K, you are able to contribute to the plan both as the employee and the employer, and the employer contribution is tax deductible.

Why are pre-tax retirement savings so important?

If, as an employed physician, you fall short of your retirement contribution goals, you will need to save the additional money in after-tax accounts. In addition to the up-front tax, earnings on these accounts will require capital gains taxes and/or interest at the top of your current tax bracket, substantially reducing the cumulative gains of these savings.

ApolloMD: Independent Contractor Hospitalist Jobs

At ApolloMD, our hospitalists are independent contractors. We feel it is important to offer the flexibility and financial advantages of IC status in order to attract and retain the best physicians across the country. If you are interested in learning more about our hospitalist opportunities, please view our current openings or contact a physician recruiter today.