If the importance of disability insurance wasn't clear before, it certainly is now.

For those who are not already covered, one great option for doctors is the DInamic Foundation disability insurance policy offered by Ameritas.

Below is an overview of DInamic Foundation’s key provisions and features.

Ameritas disability insurance basics

The Ameritas disability insurance policy, DInamic Foundation, is issued by American Life Insurance Corporation in approved states. In the state of New York, the policy is issued by American Life Insurance Corporation of New York.

Does it have an own-occupation provision? Most medical occupations can select an own occupation definition of disability for the length of the benefit period. For physicians and dentists, your medical specialty is considered your own occupation and you’ll be paid benefits if you are unable to work in that specialty due to accident or illness.

For certain occupation classes, own occupation is only available for 5 years, meaning that after you’ve received benefits for five years, you must not be able to work in any profession to be considered totally disabled.

Is the policy non cancelable or guaranteed renewable? You can choose between having non cancelable coverage or guaranteed renewable.

How are pre-disability earnings determined? The company will take your average monthly earning for the 12 months and 24 months prior to your disability and use whichever is higher.

What is the maximum benefit period? To age 70

Does the policy pay benefits for mental disorders? Ameritas has a two-year limitation on coverage for mental disorders/substance abuse.

Cost-of-living-adjustment Rider (COLA): The Ameritas disability insurance policy, Dinamic Foundation, offers two cost of living adjustment riders.

One determines the cost of living benefit by multiplying the monthly income benefit by 3 percent for each year you are disabled, while the other COLA rider uses an Index Ratio based on the Consumer Price Index before your disability (the Initial Index) and on each benefit anniversary following your disability (the Current Index).

The Index Ratio will be the lesser of:

  • The Current Index divided by the Initial Index; or
  • 1 + 6 percent, compounded annually.

This ratio will never be less than 1.

Your adjusted monthly benefit is equal to the Index Ratio multiplied by your contractual monthly benefit.

Residual Disability Riders: Ameritas has two residual disability riders that applicants can choose from – a basic and enhanced version.

The basic residual rider pays a residual benefit if you have:

  • A 15 percent or more decline in earnings; AND
  • Either you are unable to perform all of the “material and substantial duties of your occupation; OR you are unable to work in your occupation at least 80 percent of the time prior to your disability.

This rider will pay a benefit equal to the lesser of:

  • 50 percent of your base monthly benefit for total disability; or
  • Your loss of earnings / prior monthly earnings x base monthly benefit.

Under the enhanced residual rider:

  • The requirements for residual disability and the benefit payment formulas are the same as the basic residual disability rider.
  • One difference with the company’s enhanced rider is that if your loss of monthly earnings is more than 75 percent, you will be considered totally disabled and paid 100 percent of your policy’s benefit amount.
  • There is also a recovery benefit. If you’ve returned to work but your income is at least 15 percent of your pre-disability earnings, you will be paid a recovery benefit. The benefit will be based on the loss of income and payable up to the maximum benefit period.

Future Increase Option and Automatic Increase Riders: The Future Increase Option Rider enables you to increase your base monthly benefit without providing evidence of insurability, up to three times your base monthly benefit. You can exercise the full amount on any policy anniversary through age 40. After age 40, you can exercise half the base benefit through age 55. Exercising the future increase option will require additional premium.

The Automatic Increase Rider enables you to increase your monthly disability benefit by 4 percent on your policy anniversary for the first five years without additional underwriting.

Catastrophic Disability Rider: This rider provides additional benefits, up to 3 times the base benefit for total disability or a maximum of $10,000 a month in the event you are unable to perform at least two of the six activities for daily living.

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Additional policy benefits

The following provisions are included in the base policy with no additional premium charge:

Good Health Benefit: For every consecutive policy year in which you do not receive benefits, the company will reduce the elimination period by two days, though it will not be lowered to less than 30 days.

Presumptive total disability benefit: The policy will waive your elimination period if you sustain a total loss of at least one of the following: sight in both eyes,hearing in both ears, use of both hands, use of both feet, use of one hand and one foot. The loss is not required to be permanent and the elimination period would be waived even if you are able to work.

COBRA premium benefit: The policy will pay a maximum benefit of $1,000 for 18 months to help you pay for COBRA medical plan premiums if you become unemployed following a disability.

Partial disability benefit: This benefit is only available with a guaranteed renewable policy and only if you do not elect a residual disability rider. It provides a benefit equal to half the benefit for total disability. It’s paid for a maximum of 12 months if you are unable to perform at least one of your main duties or can only work up to 50 percent of the time prior to disability.

Nondisabling injury benefit: The policy will pay for treatment by either a physician or a dentist resulting from an injury. Payment will be the half your monthly benefit for total disability up to a maximum of $3,000.

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