Ameritas is a widely recognizable name in the insurance industry. As one of the larger insurance companies in the disability insurance field, they are a very trusted company. Ameritas is one of the Big Five Insurance companies meaning their definition of disabled is TRUE OWN OCCUPATION definition which is the only definition that fully covers medical professionals.
As stated above Ameritas provides true own occupation, which is the most important thing a medical professional should look at when protecting their income with disability insurance.
The language of each contract may vary, but Ameritas’s definition of disabled is:
“Total Disability or Totally Disabled means that as a result of sickness or injury, you are not able to perform with reasonable continuity the substantial and material acts necessary to perform your usual occupation in the usual and customary way. Usual occupation means the occupation or occupations that you were engaged in, based on the duties you were performing for wage or profit, at the time disability began. If you are not employed at the time of disability, your occupation means any occupation you are able to perform based on your education, training, and experience. If you are a physician or dentist and have limited your duties to the performance of the usual and customary functions of a specific, professionally recognized medical or dental specialty, we will consider that specialty your occupation.”
Ameritas recognizes that as a medical professional, they consider your specialty your occupation, which is crucial to the policy.
This definition outlines that you are guaranteed full benefits even if you are employed in another occupation.
With an Ameritas policy, you can make your policy non-cancelable or guaranteed renewable and conditionally renewable for life. The definition of each option are listed below:
Non-Cancelable/Guaranteed Renewable to Age 65: Until you reach age 65, your policy cannot be canceled, premiums cannot be increased, and restrictions cannot be added, as long as you continue paying premiums as due.
Conditionally Renewable for Life: You may renew this policy on each policy anniversary after age 65 for life if you are actively working at least 30 hours each week, you are not receiving a benefit under this policy or any attached rider, and the policy is in force with no premiums in default. When renewing your policy, you will need to submit documentation of your current income and pay the premium due for your age at that time.
The Elimination Period or the number of days the following disability before benefits become payable, and the Benefit Period, the maximum time for which you can receive benefit payments for disability, is also important to look at for each company. Ameritas’s elimination period is 90 days, meaning you must be disabled for 90 days before benefits begin to accrue.
The Good Health benefit waives two days from the elimination period for each consecutive year you don’t receive monthly disability benefits under your policy. However, your elimination period will not be reduced to less than 30 days.
Benefit Period: To Age 70 - This is the longest period of time for which Ameritas will pay benefits for a continuous disability.
Enhanced Partial Disability Benefit: Ameritas will pay you a partial benefit while you are partially disabled if you are not totally disabled and while working in an occupation, as a result of sickness or injury, your loss of monthly earnings is more than 15% of your prior monthly earnings. Recovery Benefit - Ameritas will still consider you partially disabled if you have recovered from a sickness or injury that caused a partial disability and you continue to have a loss of monthly earnings of at least 15% due to that disability.
Waiving Physician's Care: While you are disabled, you must be under the regular care and treatment of a physician appropriate for the condition causing disability. Ameritas will waive this requirement, if, in the opinion of that physician, continued medical treatment will not improve your condition.
Successive Periods of Disability: Successive periods of disability will be considered, as one period if:
A. they are caused by the same or related conditions
B. they are separated by less than 365 days, and
C. each begins while the policy is in force. The elimination period and benefit period will not restart.
Ameritas also provides additional features that can help customize your policy to fit your specific needs known as a rider. The most common rider is the COLA rider.
The definition is as follows:
Cost of Living Adjustment Rider: As long as you remain disabled, Ameritas will pay an additional 3% of the Base Monthly Benefit on each anniversary of the date of the disability. This is not a compound calculation. Benefits will not be increased by this rider after age 65 but will remain at the same level applicable at age 65 until benefits cease.
Good Health Benefit: For every consecutive policy year you complete without receiving any benefits under the policy, Ameritas will reduce the elimination period by two days. In no case will the elimination period be reduced to less than 30 days.
Surgical Transplant Benefit: After your policy has been in force for 6 months, if a part of your body is transplanted into another person's body and as a result, you become totally disabled, Ameritaswill pay benefits as if the disability was due to sickness, except that Ameritas will waive the elimination period.
Non-Disabling Injury Benefit: If you suffer an injury that does not disable you, but requires medical or dental treatment, this feature reimburses the cost of that treatment, up to one-half of your base benefit, but not to exceed $3,000 per injury.
Social Insurance Substitute (SIS) Rider: This cost-saving option helps fill the gap in income when you do not qualify for or while you are waiting to qualify for other sources of income such as Social Security Disability or Worker’s Compensation. The benefit is reduced by any Social Insurance benefits received.
Rehabilitation: You can participate in an occupational rehabilitation program without being considered "recovered" from your disability. Moreover, if Ameritas approves the program, they will pay for the reasonable expense of the program, subject to a mutual agreement in writing.
Ameritas is a great option for medical professionals to consider when looking for disability insurance. The definition of totally disabled being a true own-occupation definition makes Ameritas is an excellent choice for your disability insurance policy.
If you are interested in learning more about Disability Insurance, read more on our Beginners Guide to Disability Insurance.