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Long Term Disability Insurance FAQs

Things to consider as a chiropractor

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Considering disability insurance? Perhaps you don't know much about it or even if you need it. We can help. Here are answers to commonly asked questions about this valuable insurance.

Why is disability insurance important?

Most people understand the need for life insurance. They want to help protect their loved ones financially if the unexpected happens. A disabling injury or illness could also have a devastating financial effect on you and your family.

You rely on your income to pay your bills; what if you could no longer work? Do you have enough set aside for your expenses? For how long? You may have options to help you out, but do you really want to borrow from family or friends, tap into your 401k or deplete your savings?

Long term disability insurance can be a great help for your family. It pays a monthly benefit while you are sick or injured and unable to work. You can use the benefits however you’d like.

How long does long term disability insurance pay benefits?

The length of time you receive long term disability benefits varies by plan and the extent of your disability. Common benefit periods are 2, 5 and 10 years. Or, benefits are sometimes payable to retirement age, which is helpful for an extended disability.

What is own occupation disability insurance?

Own occupation disability insurance provides benefits if you are not able to work in your chosen profession. Any occupation disability insurance provides benefits if you are not able to work in any occupation you are qualified for by education, training or experience.

The majority of disability policies are a combination of the two. They may provide own occupation coverage for a certain length of time, and then switch to any occupation coverage.

Hint: Look for “gainful” in the definition of an any occupation policy you’re considering. That generally means you can earn a certain percentage of your chosen field earnings, such as 60%.

Will I receive benefits right after a disability?

There is an initial waiting period called an elimination period after an injury or illness before benefits can begin. The most common elimination period options are 90 and 180 days. You choose the one that works best for you when you apply for the policy.

Can I have more than one disability insurance policy?

Some people purchase more than one disability insurance policy. For example, if their main policy doesn’t offer benefit levels that meet their needs, they may choose to get supplemental insurance. It’s important to keep in mind that the total benefit amount you can receive from disability benefits is capped. For example, group plans will typically allow you to collect up to 60% of your income, while some individual plans cover up to 70% of your income.

Benefit amounts may be reduced by other sources of disability income, such as Social Security, Workers’ Compensation and other disability insurance plans. So, you may not receive the full benefit amount from both plans. Make sure you understand the maximum amount you can receive from any disability insurance policies you have.

What are the advantages of a group disability insurance plan?

Some professions are riskier than others, so people in those industries may have a harder time finding coverage. A group plan can provide a valuable option. In addition, the benefits and/or features of a group plan may be tailored to your specific needs.

Rates are another factor. An individual disability insurance plan may mean LTD premiums are based on a wider variety of professions and risks, which could mean higher rates. If you find a group plan, rates are more likely based on similar risks, resulting in more affordable rates.

What determines the rates for disability insurance?

It’s difficult to pin down the average cost of long term disability insurance, since many factors affect the premiums, including:

  • Age
  • Profession
  • Health
  • Benefit amount
  • Waiting/Elimination Period
  • Duration of benefits
  • Type of plan (individual, group)

What is a preexisting condition?

A preexisting condition is a health issue you were being treated or advised for prior to the start of your coverage. These conditions may not be covered under your new policy for a specified period of time, which is called a preexisting condition limitation.

Some insurance companies consider routine, preventive maintenance chiropractic care a preexisting condition and exclude it from coverage for a certain timeframe. As a DC, you know the importance of this type of care and that taking advantage of it doesn’t necessarily mean someone has a preexisting condition. Instead, it is often used to prevent injuries. Look for a long term disability insurance plan and company that understands the nature of routine, maintenance chiropractic care and does not consider it a preexisting condition.

Is applying for long term disability insurance difficult?

Applying for disability insurance is easier than ever. Some companies offer online quotes and applications. You may not need to undergo a medical exam, depending on the specific plan and your health. It’s certainly worth checking out.

The more you know about this valuable protection, the easier it is to get the best long term disability insurance for your needs. Help make sure you and your family are protected if you become sick or disabled and unable to earn an income. Have more questions? Give us a call at 800-932-9240.

Not for residents of New Mexico 
Not for use in New Mexico. 

The site may contain marketing language on products issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, that has not yet been approved in all states.

The products issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America may not be available in all states.

Coverage under the D.C. Long Term Disability Insurance Plan is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark NJ. CA COA #1179. NAIC #68241.


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