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Looking to change from AMA disability - next step if any?

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  • Looking to change from AMA disability - next step if any?

    I have been paying into the AMA disability policy since I started working as a radiologist about 14 years ago.  Only recently did I read the WCI posts and realize that I likely did NOT choose the right policy.   I am no longer 35, but nearing 50.  This policy may be cheaper for me, but I have real concerns that if I were to need the benefits that I may be in trouble.

    Not sure where to start so figured I would ask other docs here.

    Thanks

     

  • #2
    You are making the right decision by looking at other disability insurance policies.

    Not only is the AMA policy very restrictive in its contractual provisions, you are at the point that it will start to become very expensive.

    You should look at policies that are Non-Cancellable, Guaranteed Renewable and contain a true "Own-Occupation" definition of total disability. The policy should also include a Residual Disability Rider.

    At your age, if you have an adequate amount of savings, I would forego the COLA Rider.

    Depending upon your hospital affiliation or professional associations that you belong to, there may be discounts available to you for individual policies.

    If I can be of any help, feel free to contact me.

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    • #3
      Thank you very much.  That is helpful!

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      • #4
        Larry and I had a great conversation offline about disability options.  I must say I felt confident talking to someone associated with the site as opposed to some random broker of unknown ilk.

        Thanks, Larry! 

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        • #5
          The other issue in the group plans, association plans and some employer plans is the word or words of 'total and continuous' in the elimination period.  When the word 'total' is used that does not mean 25, 50, 75 or even 95% it really does mean they have the ability to NOT start benefit until you have been out 'Totally Disabled' for the entire elimination period until that is satisfied.  Now most carriers go by the CPT codes you bill for so if you are disabled from your main duties that create the majority of your income but are not 100% disabled then benefits don't start.  If you have an individual contract then most of them will have a simple income loss of 15-20% to trigger benefits.  As you can see 15-20% loss of income is MUCH easier to qualify for benefits than would be a 100% requirement.  As you can see as a carrier or an association whether AMA, ACS, or any number of other ones if you can change the language that prevents claims then you can sell the product for less, as a consumer just don't expect the contract to perform the same as a policy without that language in it.  Most people often talk about loop holes in contracts the reality is there are not loop holes rather just simple language that actually does mean something and changes the way a policy pays out.  The old saying of you get what you pay for might just mean something.

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