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  • Military: Disability Insurance

    My husband is in his third and final year of EM Residency, after which he owes the Air Force four years of service. We are in the process of purchasing disability insurance, and have it narrowed down to the Standard and Ameritas. These are the only differences between the two policies:

    The Standard will require us to pay premiums for the next four years, and will cover disability unless it happens during deployment.

    Ameritas allows us to lock in the current rates, which is great! We would not be paying premiums the next four years; as a result, they would not cover any disability over the next four years.

    Keep in mind that neither company will pay benefits if he becomes disabled during deployment. We are assuming this is his biggest risk of becoming disabled, and would therefore love to save all those premiums over the next four years if they wouldn't pay out. Is this an incorrect assumption? What have you all done and what would you do if you could do it again?

  • #2
    If you're only worried about deployment-related disability, there's no point in having it because neither will pay. Might as well wait until he's out, in that case. Imo there are far more things which can disable him than deployment injuries: car accidents, illness, etc. He'll only be deployed a fraction of his military time.

    Well they insure him now as EM or as a resident? Those should be different rates. Policy should be own-occupation, specialty-specific.

    Usually I see Standard recommended for military residents and fellows, but since that will only apply to him for five more months, it might differ. Larry Keller (LBKCLU) is experienced in this matter. You should message him. His ads are also up on the site.

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    • #3
      Thank you, DMFA!  You're so right that there are far more things that can disable him than deployment. They will insure him now, as a resident, at low rates. Both policies are own-occ, specialty-specific and will not penalize him if he gains other employment after becoming disabled.  Our gut is to go with The Standard, and I think you might agree with that?  Thanks for the reference, I will message Larry!

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      • #4
        There are a few places you can go to get coverage while you are active duty just so you know.  In addition I personally would get the contract bought even if it was not then active since if your premiums are waived then you will have locked in your health status and his current age both are Major advantages to having waited.
        Scott Nelson-Archer, CLU, ChFC
        303-953-0263 Direct / [email protected]

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        • #5
          Thanks, Scott! Are there companies in addition to Standard and Ameritas that currently offer disability insurance to Active Duty members? We currently have locked-in rates from both. We are just trying to decide if it is worth the risk to defer payments (and coverage for non-war-related disabilities) for four years until he is done serving, or if it is a better bet to go ahead and start paying now.

          Thank you!

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          • #6
            Mass Mutual, American College of Surgeons, AMA, and Lloyds just to name a few all play around in that space.  Keep in mind there is a difference in being a resident and buying coverage vs. a Fellow or an attending.  If you are working with a good rep they should be able to navigate those waters easily enough.
            Scott Nelson-Archer, CLU, ChFC
            303-953-0263 Direct / [email protected]

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            • #7
              Just curious.  So standard will not cover any disability during deployment, or only if the disability is related to the deployment?

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              • #8




                Just curious.  So standard will not cover any disability during deployment, or only if the disability is related to the deployment?
                Click to expand...


                They shouldn't cover any disability which occurs while deployed, no.  AFAIK that's near-impossible to get covered, other than by whatever service connection/disability percentage you receive when you get your DD214 at separation.

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                • #9
                  DMFA is correct, near impossible....
                  Scott Nelson-Archer, CLU, ChFC
                  303-953-0263 Direct / [email protected]

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                  • #10
                    Kind of piggy backing off this question.  My wife completes her surgical residency next year and starts paying back 4 years with the Navy.  Does the non-payment for deployment only mean for overseas?  If she is active duty but in the continental US, would disability still typically be covered?

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                    • #11
                      Another rider question:  does anyone know ANY disability insurance company that will be willing to write a same-occupation policy for a current active duty service member?  I seriously doubt it but thought it would be worth a shot to ask.  I started initiating the disability insurance before I left residency but when I got my orders they refused to issue it.  The disability insurance you get through SGLI only covers you for significant losses (loss of an eye, limb) and pays very little for those things.

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                      • #12




                        Another rider question:  does anyone know ANY disability insurance company that will be willing to write a same-occupation policy for a current active duty service member?  I seriously doubt it but thought it would be worth a shot to ask.  I started initiating the disability insurance before I left residency but when I got my orders they refused to issue it.  The disability insurance you get through SGLI only covers you for significant losses (loss of an eye, limb) and pays very little for those things.
                        Click to expand...


                        Yes - MassMutual's Radius disability insurance policy provides an own occupation definition of disability to active duty military physicians/surgeons. It's the same policy available to your civilian counterparts. Ask any questions here so others can see and email me if you would like a personalized quote.

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                        • #13
                          Thank you.  Will look into this.

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                          • #14
                            That is great to know.  Thanks for the info.

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