Want to change/update my disability insurance (MD)

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Want to change/update my disability insurance (MD)

Postby letsgobobby » Fri May 10, 2013 3:39 pm

I currently have two disability policies, both 'the cheapest money can buy.'

1. an individual policy from Unum, bought as a resident, which I'm sure is really just an extended group product and therefore mostly junk. $100 per mo for $4000 of benefit.
2. a group policy, free from work, for $10,000 per mo.

I'm a shrink, I have no major health problems but have received treatment for a bad back which continues to aggravate.

So first, I know it's a risk but I'm comfortable taking the chance that I won't need extended mental health benefits beyond 2 years.

Also, another risk, but it's hard to see how I could be disabled from psychiatry but not disabled from any other job, assuming we aren't talking about a mental disability. Because I can do my job with no arms and no legs and even half blind and half deaf. So I'm thinking I don't need the own occupation clauses.

All that given, I'm open to suggestions or corrections. My motivation is the possibility that I may not work for this employer for more than 5-8 more years, at which time I may become self-employed or some other arrangement where I wouldn't have disability provided. And I don't want to find myself uninsured or unable to obtain coverage.

Just need an idea of where to start, how much I could reasonably obtain given the other two coverages in place, and whether my thinking about mental health and own occupation are truly too risky.
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Re: Want to change/update my disability insurance (MD)

Postby BruDude » Fri May 10, 2013 5:42 pm

Unless you can opt out of the group policy (which is unlikely if 100% employer-paid), you probably won't be able to add any other coverage, possibly a limited amount if you plan on dropping the existing individual policy. The back problems are going to result in a spine exclusion and depending on the severity and current treatment, may also result in a benefit limitation or total decline. What's your end-goal with changing the coverage? Maxing out an individual policy? Getting a policy to supplement the group coverage?
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Re: Want to change/update my disability insurance (MD)

Postby letsgobobby » Fri May 10, 2013 6:19 pm

I want to replace the current individual policy I have with a larger one, so that when/if I leave my employer I have something to fall back on. In other words I would drop the current individual policy once I have a new one.

These AMA sales pitches I get imply I can get substantially more coverage than $14k per month - is it related to income (I assume it is)?

Without getting too bogged down in details, the back problems are non-surgical, non-opioid treatments - just a couple of MRIs and steroid injections.
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Re: Want to change/update my disability insurance (MD)

Postby BruDude » Fri May 10, 2013 7:13 pm

letsgobobby wrote:I want to replace the current individual policy I have with a larger one, so that when/if I leave my employer I have something to fall back on. In other words I would drop the current individual policy once I have a new one.

These AMA sales pitches I get imply I can get substantially more coverage than $14k per month - is it related to income (I assume it is)?

Without getting too bogged down in details, the back problems are non-surgical, non-opioid treatments - just a couple of MRIs and steroid injections.


If you replace the individual policy you would be able to get more coverage, assuming you can pass underwriting. The new policy will still require a spinal exclusion in all likelihood. The group coverage is going to offset the amount of coverage you can get in total on an individual policy, but the fact that it is employer-paid and taxable will allow you to get more individual DI than if the benefits were tax-free. The total amount you could get depends on your income and will vary slightly by carrier.

As an example using Guardian's calculator, someone making $200k with $10k/mo of taxable group coverage could get $3,390/mo individual coverage. $250k could get $6,040/mo, $300k could get $8,670/mo, $350k could get $11,260/mo, and $400k could get $13,830/mo....so as you can see it varies depending on your income.
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Re: Want to change/update my disability insurance (MD)

Postby letsgobobby » Fri May 10, 2013 10:10 pm

what do you think about the own occupation and mental health clauses?
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Re: Want to change/update my disability insurance (MD)

Postby BruDude » Fri May 10, 2013 10:15 pm

letsgobobby wrote:what do you think about the own occupation and mental health clauses?


Better to have own-occ and unlimited mental/nervous than not have it. A modified own-occ definition isn't going to save that much money in most cases.
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