Ameritas Disability Insurance Review

The Ameritas DInamic foundation is a high quality contract, however this carrier is not as well known as some of their competitors. For certain specialties, Ameritas can have extremely attractive rates and benefits. We find the underwriting to be fair and the carriers provides nice service. Being a smaller carrier, we find they process applications a bit slower than other carriers.

  • Quality of contract 4.5/5
  • Rates 3.5/5
  • Application Experience 4/5
  • Communication/Service 4/5
  • Total score 4/5
Ameritas is a mutual based organization located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Ameritas insurance portfolio includes Life insurance, Disability Insurance, Annuities, Dental Vision, hearing. Additional divisions include equity services, commercial mortgage and real estate.

2019 Financial Ratings:

  • A.M. Best Company – A
  • Standard & Poor’s - A+
  • Comdex – 81/100
Total Disability: This benefit is key to determining your eligibility for benefits. Physicians tend to prefer a true own-occupation definition of disability which allows them to be employed in another occupation while continuing to receive full disability benefits.
  • Own Occupation Rider: Total Disability means that, solely due to sickness or injury, you are not able to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation. If you are a Physician or dentists 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.
    Our Analysis: This is an excellent true own occupation rider. It is not automatically included, it must be selected as an optional benefit.

Partial Disability: Many disabilities allow physicians to continue working, but they may work less or earn less as a result of the injury or illness. Therefore, the partial disability benefit is an extremely important clause in the contract. Ameritas offers two definitions for partial disability.
  • Enhanced Residual Disability Rider:The trigger to qualify under this rider is at least a 15% loss of income, and you are unable to perform one or more, but not all the material and substantial duties of your occupation; or are unable to work in your occupation for 80% (20% loss) or more of the usual time previously worked before the disability began.
    Recovery benefits are included with enhanced partial disability rider. After recovering from a disability, the policy will pay benefits, up to the maximum benefit period, after a total or partial disability has been paid, if loss of income is at least 15% of prior earnings and you are working at least 80% of the hours before the disability.
  • Basic Residual Partial: The trigger to qualify under this rider is at least a 15% loss of income due to injury or illness, and you are able to perform one or more but not all the usual job duties of your occupation,, or you are able to work in your occupation for 80% or more of the time as before the disability occurred. The benefit paid will be the lesser of the proportional benefit or 50% of the base monthly benefit.
    Recovery benefits are not included in this rider.
    Our Analysis: We would suggest selecting the Enhanced Residual rider and avoiding the Basic Residual Rider.
When signing up for your first policy, it is wise to include provisions that allow you to increase coverage in the future. Ameritas offers two options that allow you to increase coverage in the future without any new medical underwriting, allowing you to increase benefits to protect your income as it rises, regardless of changes in health.
  • Future Increase Option: This rider allows you to increase coverage on an annual basis up to age 55. The maximum amount that can be purchased is 3x time base monthly benefit, not to exceed maximum issue limits (20,000 monthly benefit).
  • Automatic Benefit Enhancement: This is no cost benefit. Ameritas will automatically adjust your monthly benefit amount every year for the first 5 years of the policy. The increase will be an 4% to your monthly benefit.

  • Non Cancellable Guardian Renewable: The DInamic Foundation contract offered by Ameritas provides the option to have coverage as Non-Cancellable Guaranteed renewable to age 65. The policy is conditionally renewable thereafter on an annual basis for life, subject to changes in premium.
  • Mental and/or Substance-related Disorders: This benefit includes claims that stem from, drugs, alcohol, stress, anxiety, depression, or burnout. Policies issued by Amertias contain a 60-month mental nervous limitation for most medical occupations. Some medical occupations such as anesthesiologists and emergency room physicians and some surgical specialties require a 24-month limitation.
  • Presumptive Disability Benefit: This benefit provides coverage in the event you permanently loose the power of speech, hearing in both ears, sight in the eyes, or use of both hands, both feet, or one hand and one foot. Benefits become payable when the presumptive disability occurs, the loss does not need to be irrecoverable and the elimination period will be waved.
  • Good health benefit: Ameritas will reduce the elimination by 2 days for every consecutive year without receiving benefits. The maximum reduction is limited to 30 days.
  • COBRA premium benefit: If you become unemployed as a result of a disability and you are paying COBRA premiums, Ameritas will reimburse those premiums up to 1,000 a month for up to 18 months.
  • Non Disabling injury: If you experience an injury that requires medical treatment prescribed by a physician or the repair of natural teeth, they will pay the expense of the treatment, not the exceed the lesser of 50% of the base monthly benefit or 3,000. . (this rider is not available in all states)
  • Survivor benefit: If you die after satisfying the elimination period, Ameritas will pay 3 months of base monthly benefit to a designated beneficiary.
  • Waiver of Premium: You do not pay for your coverage after you are disabled for the elimination period. Ameritas will refund the premiums paid for coverage after the disability began and continue to waive all premiums that become due during your continuous disability.
    Our analysis: Ameritas offers some unique and beneficial benefits at no cost. We would like the contract more if Mental/Nervous related claims were not limited for 24 or 60 months.

  • Elimination periods available: 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, 180-day, 365-day, and 730 day elimination periods
  • Benefit periods available: 1 year, 2 year, 5 year, 10 year, age 65, age 67, age 70.
  • Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA): This benefit is designed to increase your monthly benefits on an annual basis during a claim. You may select a 3% simple or 6% compound rate.
  • Catastrophic Rider (CAT): Pays a benefit in addiotnal to the base monthly benefit if the insured loses the ability to perform two or more activities of daily living without assistance; becomes cognitively impaired; or becomes presumptively disabled under the terms of the policy.
  • Student Loan Repayment: Provides a reimbursement of student loan payments while insured is totally disabled. The rider is for a duration of either 10 or 15 years and will reimburse an additional 250-2,000 per month toward student loan payments.

  • Resident/Fellow: Ameritas offers a 20% discount for residents and fellows. These discounts are available to employees from most of the largest GME programs.
  • Multi-life & Association Discounts: Ameritas offers a 15% discount to members of certain associations and employers. While they are not as low as the resident/fellow discount its an excellent way for physicians out of training to get discounted rates.
  • Preferred Occupations: Amertits has identified multi specialties as preferred occupations making them eligible for an additional 10% discount. This can be bundled with another discount program making certain specialties/occupations very attractive with Ameritas.