Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, for three reasons:
First, the monthly benefit amount paid through employer-sponsored disability insurance is likely to be taxable, reducing the true amount of protection the coverage provides. In contrast, the benefits of this plan could be free of income tax when you pay the premiums with your own, after-tax dollars. Consult your tax advisor.
Second, over time your income has probably increased, and the level of protection you now carry may no longer be enough to help cover the living expenses that would continue should you become disabled. Using this plan to increase your total coverage can help you avoid having to deplete savings and investments intended for other purposes, including retirement.
Third, unlike many employer-provided plans, this coverage is yours to keep without interruption, even if you change jobs or become self-employed. This plan adds an extra layer of protection that you control and it will move with you throughout your career.
Some disability plans limit their definition of “total disability” to the inability to work in any occupation. This means you might not be eligible for benefits if you are sick or injured but still able to work in another profession.
Other plans may include an own occupation definition of disability, meaning that you might not be eligible for benefits if you were able to perform any physician job in the field of medicine, even though you were no longer able to carry out the duties and responsibilities of your medical specialty.
This plan contains a preferred definition of disability, called own specialty, that is so important for physicians. It means you are eligible to receive benefits if you’re unable to perform the duties of your own medical specialty – not just any job or some other job in the medical profession.
You will be considered totally disabled if you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your medical specialty due to sickness or injury. House or hospital confinement is not required to be eligible for benefits, but you must be under the care of a physician.
Total disability is presumed, and the waiting period waived, if you experience total and irrecoverable loss of speech, hearing in both ears, sight of both eyes or loss of use of both hands or feet.
No. Membership in the AMA is not required to apply, although Members are eligible for a premium credit, which lowers the cost.
Since 1988, AMA Insurance has been offering high-quality, economical coverage designed to meet the unique needs of physicians nationwide. We can take advantage of the buying power available to large groups to secure competitive rates and physician-focused coverage you won't find anywhere else.
In addition, this plan has provided physician-exclusive rate reductions since 2006, helping keep the cost economical, even for significant amounts of coverage. AMA-sponsored disability insurance has been protecting physicians for five decades with solid, dependable coverage at competitive pricing.
Physicians under 55 may apply for up to $15,000 in monthly benefits. Physicians age 55 to 60 may apply for up to $5,000 in monthly benefits. The maximum amount that can be issued depends on your earned income and other disability insurance you have in force, if any. Monthly benefits from this plan, when added to any other disability insurance in force or applied for, cannot exceed 66 2/3% of your monthly pre-tax income or $30,000, whichever is less.
Resident physicians under age 40 can apply for up to $5,000 in monthly benefits regardless of their current salary or other insurance.
The waiting period is defined as the period of time from the start of total disability during which no benefits are payable. The waiting period is only satisfied if you are not working in any occupation.
No. This insurance is designed to help replace your income while you’re unable to work; the money is sent directly to you, and you may use it any way you wish.
That depends on your age at the time the disability begins. If you are disabled before age 62, benefits under this plan are payable up to age 67. If you are disabled between the ages of 62 and 63, benefits are payable for up to 60 months. From age 63 to 69, the benefit period is reduced in six month increments, depending upon your age at the time the disability begins. From age 70 to 75, benefits are payable up to 12 months.
You can never be singled out for a rate increase or have your coverage cancelled due to your health. You are also assured that your rates will never increase as a result of the number of claims you’ve made. Rate increases occur as you move from one age bracket to the next. Additionally, the insurance company can only change premium rates on a class-wide basis. For example, a "class" may be a group of insureds in the same age group.
Once your application is approved and coverage is issued, you'll receive a Certificate of Insurance. Then you'll have 30 days to decide if you're completely satisfied with your coverage. If you decide this coverage isn’t right for you, return your Certificate, without claim, within that 30-day period and you'll be under no further obligation.
No. You don’t need to send any money until you have been approved for coverage. Your first premium notice will be enclosed with your Certificate of Insurance.
Medical underwriting is a process used by insurance companies to determine your health status when you’re applying for insurance, in order to decide whether to offer you coverage, at what price, and with what exclusions or limits.
Note: when applying for insurance, your information may be shared with other insurers through MIB, Inc. (formerly known as Medical Information Bureau). MIB is a not-for-profit membership organization of insurance companies which operates an information exchange on behalf of its members to assess an individual’s risk and eligibility during underwriting.