Disability Insurance Definitions​ & FAQs

Understand your disability insurance policy and the optional features before you buy.

Monthly Benefit

The Monthly Benefit is the monthly income protection you would receive in the case you became sick or injured, and ultimately unable to work.  This amount is adjustable but is based on your gross income. You are only eligible to insure approximately 60% of gross income through all disability insurance sources, however, there are some exceptions to this rule when you are graduating from training.

Benefit Period

The Benefit Period is how long your income can be replaced in the event of a long term disability.

Available Options
5 Year Benefit
10 Year Benefit
To Age 65
To Age 67
To Age 70

Ohio National

This is the longest period of time that base monthly benefits or rider benefits will be paid for one total disability caused by the same or related injury or sickness.

Mass Mutual

The maximum length of time we will pay monthly benefits for a disability.


The maximum period of time we will pay disability benefits for any one disability.


The benefit period is the longest period of time for which we will pay benefits for a continuous disability.


Means the maximum length of time we will pay you a base monthly benefit as long as you are totally disabled. 


Starts after the satisfaction of the elimination period and is the longest time for which benefits will be paid for any one continuous disability. 

Elimination Period

The Elimination Period is how long you have to wait after filing your claim for your income replacement to occur.

Available Options
60 Days
90 Days
180 Days
360 Days

Ohio National

This is the period of time you must be totally disabled before base monthly benefits begin. 

Mass Mutual

This is the period immediately following the start of disability during which benefits do not accrue. 


Means a period, measured from the first day of your disability throughout which you must be disabled before benefits become payable.


This is the number of days that must elapse before benefits become payable. You must be disabled for the entire period.


This is the period of time you must be totally disabled before we start paying benefits. Benefits will not accrue or be payable during the elimination period. 


This is the number of days of disability from the start of a continuous disability for which no benefits will be paid. 


A true own-occupation disability definition is the single most important aspect of any physician’s disability policy. Own-occupation language ensures that a physician will receive their full benefit if a disability prevents them from working in their own specialty. Every physician should make sure their policy includes a strong own-occupation definition. 

Weaker definitions of disability will only pay benefits for a claim if the disability prevents you from working in any occupation, including teaching, research, consulting, administration or even jobs outside of medicine. For example, if a plastic surgeon develops arthritis in their hands that disables them from performing surgery, but still has the physical ability to do administrative work or patient consultations, they will not qualify for disability benefits.  

The technical language of disability policies can be deceptive and opaque, so make sure you have an independent expert or advisor review your policy’s definition of disability. Adding a strong own-occupation rider can ensure that you are protected in the event of any accident or illness that prevents you from earning income in your own specialty.

Ohio National

Your regular occupation is the occupation(s) in which you are regularly engaged on the date of disability. If your regular occupation on the date of disability is limited to a professionally-recognized specialty in medicine, dentistry or law within the scope of your degree or license, we will deem that specialty to be your regular occupation. If you are unemployed, retired, or otherwise not working on the date of disability, your regular occupation means any occupation you are able to do based on your education, training and experience.

Mass Mutual

Provides benefits for a condition caused by a sickness or injury in which you cannot perform the main duties of your occupation and are working in another occupation. You must be under a doctor’s care and the disability must begin while this rider is in force. If the extended partial disability benefits rider is attached to the policy, monthly benefit payments under the own occupation rider will be in lieu of any monthly benefit under the extended partial disability benefits rider equal to the monthly benefit for the own occupation rider. We will evaluate eligibility for monthly benefits under the extended partial disability benefits rider for the amount, if any, that exceeds the monthly benefit of the own occupation rider.


Receive full disability benefits if you can’t perform the substantial and material duties of your regular occupation, even if you work and earn money in another occupation.


You will be totally disabled if, solely due to injury or sickness, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation. As long as you are totally disabled, benefits will not be reduced even if you are working in another occupation. You will also be considered totally disabled if you are an MD or DO and more than 50% of your income is from:

Performing surgical procedures and, solely because of injury or illness, you can no longer perform surgical procedures – or- performing hands-on patient care and, solely because of injury or illness, you can no longer perform hands-on patient care.


Your occupation means the occupation or occupations that you were engaged in, based on the duties you were performing for wage or profit, at the time disability began. If you are not employed at the time of disability, your occupation means a reasonable occupation you are able to perform based on your education, training and experience. If you are a physician or dentist and have limited your duties to the performance of the usual and customary functions of a specific, professionally recognized medical or dental specialty, we will consider that specialty your occupation.


Regular Occupation Rider
If you become totally disabled from your regular occupation and choose to work in another occupation, you receive full benefits, regardless of the income you earn from the other occupation. 

Transitional Occupation Rider
You will continue to receive disability benefits if you become totally disabled in your occupation, but are working in another occupation. Benefits will be paid up to 100% of your prior earnings, but will not exceed the total monthly benefit. Benefits are payable until the end of the transitional occupation period to age 65. If your policy has both the residual disability and recovery benefit rider and the transitional occupation rider, benefits will not be paid out under both riders at the same time. If you meet the definitions and terms of both riders, your monthly benefit will be the great of either Residual or transitional occupation benefit.

Partial Disability Insurance

While some disabilities can prevent you from working completely, other conditions may only reduce your working capacity partially. For example, chronic pain or degenerative conditions may force doctors to work fewer hours or meet with fewer patients which can substantially reduce their earnings without qualifying as a total disability.

A residual or partial disability rider can ensure that your income is supplemented in the event that:

  • You are able to perform some but not all, of the material and substantial duties of your job.
  • You are unable to work in your job for a certain percentage of time.

Different policies will offer different definitions, requirements, and benefit periods for partial disabilities. For example, many policies require that a physician has lost at least 15-20% of their income before they can qualify for a partial disability benefit. Partial disability benefits usually constitute 50% of a full disability benefit, but the exact percentage may vary by policy.

Most carriers will allow physicians to purchase basic or enhanced disability riders. Every physician needs at least some financial protection in the event of a partial disability.  While an enhanced residual rider will cost more money than the basic version, you can expect to receive longer guaranteed benefit periods, less restrictive partial disability definitions, and higher residual benefit payments. 

Available Options
15% Loss of Income
20% Loss of Income

Ohio National

For the first six months of disability, if you have a sickness or injury that limits your time or duties, you will receive benefits in proportion to your loss of earnings. The benefit you receive will be equal to the base monthly benefit amount for total disability, times the percentage of your loss of earnings after the date of residual disability. After the first six months, you must also show that you have a loss of earnings of at least 15% because of that residual disability. If this percentage is greater than 75%, full total disability benefits will be paid. The minimum benefit for the first six months of residual disability is 50% of the total disability benefit. You do not need to be totally disabled first to receive residual benefits.

This benefit will continue for your maximum benefit period as long as you remain residually disabled.

We will increase your monthly earnings before disability each year you remain disabled by the percentage increase in the consumer price index-urban dwellers (CPI-U). At no time may we reduce your adjusted monthly earnings before disability if the CPI-U is negative.

Mass Mutual

This rider provides a benefit if you are working and you suffer a minimum 15% loss of income resulting from a reduced capacity to perform your occupation due to sickness or injury. In addition, during the first 6 months of disability, you may also qualify as partially disabled if due to sickness or injury, you suffer a 15% loss of time from work or you can do some, but not all, of the main duties of your occupation.

During the first 6 months of partial disability, we will pay the total disability benefit for any portion of the 6 month period that is not used to satisfy the waiting period and during which, due to sickness or injury, you are working less than 20% of the time worked just prior to the start of disability.

Otherwise, for the first 12 months of partial disability benefits, any monthly payment for partial disability will never be less than 50% of the extended partial disability monthly benefit. If your income loss is more than 50% of the extended partial disability monthly benefit, the monthly payment will be the actual loss of income up to the extended partial disability monthly benefit. If the income loss is more than 75%, the monthly payment will be the total disability monthly benefit. Beginning in the 13th month of partial disability benefits, monthly payments will be based on your loss of income.


Enhanced Residual Disability Benefit Qualify as residually disabled while working in your regular occupation or another occupation if, during the benefit waiting period, you have a loss of income or duties or time due to injury or sickness. After the benefit waiting period, you’ll be eligible for residual disability benefits if you’re still working but you have a loss of income. This rider pays at least 50 percent of your basic monthly benefit for the first 12 months. After that, the benefit is proportional to your loss of income.


This option provides partial disability benefits when you are not totally disabled but, solely due to injury or sickness, you suffer a loss of income of 15% or more while working.


We will pay you a residual benefit while you are residually disabled if you suffer a loss of at least 15% of your net earned income, and you are able to perform one or more, but not all, of the material and substantial duties of your occupation or you are unable to engage in your occupation for more than 80% of the time as was usual prior to the start of your disability.


You are considered residually disabled and receive a benefit proportionate to your loss if you.

• Lose at least 20% of your prior earnings due solely to an injury or sickness and

Are able to perform some, but not all, of the substantial and material duties or

Are unable to work full time in your occupation or

• Working in another occupation

Future Increase Option

Every insurance carrier offers the Future Increase Option riders, usually at a no extra cost to the policyholder. An FIO rider allows physicians to increase their disability coverage as their income increases over time. An FIO Rider is strongly recommended for all medical students, residents, or new physicians purchasing disability coverage.

FIO riders make disability insurance affordable even for physicians who are years away from their peak earning years. They also allow physicians to increase their benefit amounts without additional medical underwriting. When you first purchase a policy, your insurance carrier will pore through your medical history to identify any conditions that may increase your likelihood of becoming disabled. Depending on the severity of a condition, they may increase your premium costs, exclude certain conditions from coverage, or decline to offer you coverage altogether. FIO riders allow you to purchase increased coverage regardless of any medical conditions that may arise after the policy’s effective date. Consider the following scenario:

Dr. Rodriguez, a 27-year-old medical resident, purchases a disability insurance policy with an FIO rider. She can’t afford much coverage, so the policy starts with $125/month premiums for a $3,500/month benefit in the event of a disability. 

During her first year as an attending physician, Dr. Rodriguez is diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which puts her at a higher risk of becoming disabled. Six years later, Dr. Rodriguez has a young child and a mortgage payment. She would need substantially more than $3000 to supplement her lost salary in the event of a disability. However, now she can afford to pay higher premiums (still totalling only 1-3% of annual income) in exchange for a larger disability benefit.

Without an FIO rider, Dr. Rodriguez  would have to go out and buy a new policy to purchase increased coverage. Due to her Crohn’s disease, she may be unable to find a carrier who will underwrite her medical condition for a new policy.  Fortunately, with an FIO rider,  Dr. Rodriguez can increase her coverage on the original policy without fear of losing protection. 

FIO riders are a crucial provision to provide scalable coverage without additional medical underwriting. Many physicians increase their coverage after major events such as promotions, marriage, or having children. Read more about FIO riders and Benefit Update Riders.

Available Options
Guaranteed Insurance Option (GIO)
Future Increase Option (FIO)

Less Flexible: These free options allow you to increase coverage later on without doing additional medical underwriting. However, you can only increase with these features 1-time per every 3-year window.  If you have not submitted paperwork to increase by the 3rd year of a 3-year window, you will be required to in order to keep this feature on the policy for another 3 years.  The amount of increase available is based on the current maximum policy benefit.

Available Options
Benefit Purchase Rider (BPR)
Benefit Update (BU)
Benefit Increase Rider (BIR)

Ohio National

Guarantee of Physical Insurability
You may purchase additional amounts of base monthly benefits on each policy anniversary without proof of medical insurability. The minimum amount of GPI purchase is $100. The maximum of each increase is one half of your original base monthly benefit. The GPI Rider ends at your age 60 or when you have exercised the maximum total amount of increase above.

Special Increase Amount:

While this rider is in force, you may request a special increase amount if either of the following applies:

(a) You are no longer eligible to participate in your employer’s group long term disability insurance plan because of a change in employment or your employer discontinues or reduces your group long term disability insurance and you are working and you are not eligible for group long term disability insurance in the next 24 months. You must apply for the special increase amount within 90 days of losing your group long term disability insurance; or

(b) You have at least a 50% increase in earnings since your last potential increase date. The increase in earnings must be permanent and sustainable. If the increase in earnings is the result of a one-time bonus, commission, or extraordinary financial event, you will not qualify for a special increase amount.

You may not have a special increase amount that will give you more than our maximum disability income issue and participation limit in effect as of the date you apply for the special increase amount.

Mass Mutual

Future Increase Option
This rider provides the opportunity to apply for additional benefits from time to time without proof of good health other than proof that you are actively at work and are not disabled. Increased coverage may be applied for during each option period. The last option must be exercised on or before your 60th birthday. Increases are postponed during a period of disability.

Future insurability option rider will increase the total disability monthly benefit, and increase the coverage provided by the cost of living adjustment rider, extended partial disability benefits rider, social insurance rider, short term disability benefit rider, and own occupation rider if any of those riders are in force.

Benefit Increase Rider
Income increase options ensure that additional coverage is available and can be purchased by the policy owner without proof of medical insurability. As an insured’s income increases, the policy owner can purchase additional monthly benefits regardless of any health changes provided the insured is not disabled.


Benefit Increase Rider
Benefit Increase rider as your earnings grow, enjoy the flexibility to purchase increases in your coverage at three-year intervals, subject to issue and participation limits — without having to provide medical information.


Future Increase Option
This option provides the opportunity to increase benefits, without medical underwriting, annually through age 55. Financial underwriting is required.

Benefit Purchase Rider
The BPR allows you to purchase additional coverage every three years in the form of a separate policy with no evidence of insurability with just financial and occupational underwriting up to age 55. 


Future Increase Option
This rider permits you to purchase additional coverage with only financial evidence of insurability. Through age 45, the insured may exercise the full amount of this rider, on any given policy anniversary. On each subsequent anniversary date, ages 46 through 55 may exercise 50% of the original base monthly benefit of the policy, provided you qualify financially. The total of all increases 
may never exceed the amount purchased under the FIO.


Future Benefit Increase Rider
Your coverage will automatically increase every year for six years* to help keep up with inflation without submitting evidence of insurability You are guaranteed a minimum increase of .4% compounded and a maximum of 10% compounded This amount is based on the change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).   

You may also request an additional increase, up to $500 maximum, based on your income This rider can be renewed at the end of six years with financial underwriting 

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

A COLA rider is designed to counteract the loss of purchasing power that may happen to a physician’s insurance benefit due to inflation. 

One important caveat: With a COLA rider, your benefit only adjusts with the rate of inflation when you are on a claim. If a doctor purchases a policy with a $5,000 benefit in 2018, and then goes on claim in 2035, they will still start with a benefit amount of $5,000 regardless of inflation. However, if the doctor remains on claim for another five years, the COLA rider will increase with the cost-of-living.

Most COLA riders do not even go into effect until the policyholder has been on claim for at least 12 months, and these provisions are most beneficial in the event of a long-term disability. If you are on claim for several decades, a $5,000 benefit will have significantly less purchasing power after 20 or 30 years, and a COLA rider could provide tens of thousands of additional dollars in benefits. 

Thus, a COLA rider can be a tremendous help in the event of a serious disability, however it will not impact the majority of policyholders who go on disability claims for a few years or less.

A COLA rider is not considered a necessity for all physicians. However if you can afford to add it and you are going to practice medicine for at least 10 more years, a COLA rider can guarantee the continued value of your disability benefit regardless of inflation in the event of a long-term claim. 

The Cost of Living Adjustment feature ensures your benefits keep pace with inflation if you are receiving compensation from a disability claim.

Available Options
4-year Delayed 3% Simple Interest
3% Simple Interest
0-6% Compound Interest
3% Compound Interest
2-6% Compound Interest
3-6% Compound Interest
6% Compound Interest

Ohio National

While you are Disabled, your base monthly benefits will be increased once each year, on the anniversary of your disability.

The increase will be 3% each year applied on a simple interest basis. The increase applies to the base monthly benefit and any benefit being paid under the social insurance supplement rider. As long as you remain disabled, benefits will be paid until the end of the maximum benefit period.

After a disability during which we increase your base monthly benefits under this rider, you may increase the base monthly benefit by an amount equal to the increase in benefit provided by this rider, rounded to the nearest $100.

To use the option, you must:

(a) be actively and gainfully employed on a full-time basis; and
(b) apply within 90 days after your disability ends; and
(c) apply before your age 60; and
(d) not be receiving benefits under the policy or any riders.

Premiums for the increase will be based on your age and sex as of the date you elect to increase the benefit.

Mass Mutual

This Rider provides benefits to cover up to 100% of Your pre-disability earned income (at time of issue).
Benefits will be paid if:

• You meet the definition of presumptive disability OR
 You meet the definition of total disability AND are unable to perform 2 of 6 activities of daily living OR
• You meet the definition of total disability AND suffer a severe cognitive impairment


To help keep pace with inflation, this rider increases your benefits by up to 3% each year during a disability that lasts longer than 365 days.


This option adjusts your benefit on an annual basis at a rate of 3% compounded to help keep pace with inflation during a period of disability.


As long as you remain disabled, we will pay an additional 3% of the base monthly benefit on each anniversary of the date of disability. This is not a compound calculation. Benefits will not be increased by this rider after age 65 but will remain at the same level applicable at age 65 until benefits cease.


While you’re disabled and receiving monthly benefits, this rider increases your benefit to keep up with inflation Your benefit increase is calculated on a compounded basis as determined by the change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers each year up to a maximum increase of 3%  If the change in the C I- index is zero or negative, your monthly benefit will remain the same

Catastrophic Coverage

A typical long-term disability policy will only replace about 60% of a physician’s lost income. However, with a catastrophic disability rider, you can automatically receive a higher benefit amount (up to 100% in some cases) for lost salary in the event that you suffer a catastrophic disability. Usually, a catastrophic disability is defined as a condition that prevents you from completing at least two activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs include bathing, dressing, feeding yourself, using the restroom, seeing, or hearing. 

Depending on your financial resources, a catastrophic rider can help you secure additional protection in the event of a worst case scenario. Some physicians prefer to put their available insurance premium budget towards purchasing a higher basic monthly benefit rather than purchasing a catastrophic disability rider. 

Available Options
Up to: $8,000
Up to : $10,000
Up to: $12,000

*Note: You can adjust the benefit period and elimination period in addition to the benefit amount up to the limits specified.


Ohio National

You have a catastrophic disability or are catastrophically disabled if due to an injury or sickness: (1) you are unable to perform two or more activities of daily living without stand-by assistance due to loss of functional capacity; or (2) you require substantial supervision due to severe cognitive impairment. 

The monthly benefit amount provided by this rider and payable to you if you are catastrophically disabled. The catastrophic disability monthly benefit amount is shown in the policy specifications. In order to be eligible for each catastrophic disability monthly benefit, you must satisfy the regular care of a physician requirement as stated in the benefit section of the policy.

Mass Mutual

Definition of Catastrophic Disability or Catastrophically Disabled — The insured’s condition has met either (1) or (2) where: (1) The definition of “Presumptive Disability” as defined in your policy, which includes: complete loss of speech; complete loss of hearing in both ears; complete loss of sight in both eyes; or complete loss of use of both hands, or both feet, or one hand and one foot. (2) The definition of “Total Disability” as defined in your policy, and (a) or (b) where: (a) The inability to perform two (2) of six (6) activities of daily living (ADLs), as defined below, without assistance. 


Catastrophic Disability / Catastrophically Disabled means that due to your injury or sickness:  you are unable to safely and completely perform two or more activities of daily living without hands-on assistance or standby assistance due to loss of functional capacity;  you require substantial supervision for your health or safety due to severe cognitive impairment; or you are presumptively disabled.


Basic Catastrophic Coverage 
Means that due to injury or sickness, you are: 
• Unable to perform two or more of the activities of daily living without human standby assistance; or
• cognitively impairment
• irrecoverably disabled

Severe Catastrophic Coverage 
This option provides extra funds if, solely due to injury or sickness, you are irrecoverably disabled or are cognitively impaired. 


This rider provides for a yearly compound interest cost of living adjustment in certain monthly income benefits during disability.


Due to a sickness or injury: (1) you are unable to perform two or more activities of daily living without stand-by assistance due to loss of functional capacity; or (2) you require substantial supervision due to severe cognitive impairmentc

Mental Health Coverage

Mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders are common causes for disability claims for physicians. In fact, 10-15% of physicians will struggle with substance or alcohol abuse at some point in their lives. Different policies vary in their coverage of claims related to mental illness, nervous conditions, or substance disorders, however many carriers allow physicians to purchase Mental Illness or Substance Disorder specific riders to enhance their coverage.

As you consider any riders related to mental illness, nervous or substance disorders, pay close attention to limitations in the benefit period. Many of these riders will still only pay benefits for a maximum of one or two years for mental health or substance abuse related claims. For this reason, some physicians decide the additional cost of the rider is not worth the limited payout period. However, for other physicians, this rider can be tremendously valuable. In the event that a physician suffers debilitating depression that prevents them from working for a year, or wants to go on claim to seek rehabilitation treatment, this rider can provide critical income protection while they get back on their feet. Carefully consider your age, savings, and family history as you decide whether this rider is right for your policy.

Available Options
24 months
60 months

*Note: Unlimited mental health coverage would match the policies benefit period.

Special Benefits

These special benefits are the base benefits that come with the insurance policies at no additional cost to you. Note that these features differ by each insurance provider.

Non-disabling Injury
Good Health
COBRA Continuation
Death Benefit
Capital Sum
Supplemental Health
Compassionate Care
Unemployment Waiver of Premium
Serious Illness
Hospice Care

Ohio National
Except as expressly stated in an Exclusion Rider attached to this policy, during the first two years following the issue date of this policy, we will not pay a Monthly Benefit for a Pre-existing Condition if it was misrepresented or not disclosed on the application. Pre-existing Condition means a Sickness or a physical or mental condition for which not more than two years prior to the Policy Date:

(1) symptoms existed that would cause an ordinarily prudent person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or

(2) medical advice or treatment was recommended by or received from a licensed medical practitioner.

Mass Mutual
The Maximum Benefit Period for each period of disability caused by or contributed to by a mental disorder is 24 months, with no aggregate lifetime limit. However, if You are confined to a hospital and under a doctor’s care, the benefits will continue to be paid up to the maximum benefit period. A mental disorder includes but is not limited to mental, emotional or behavioral disorder, or disorder related to stress or to substance abuse or dependency.

The Platinum Advantage policy provides 24 months of benefits for disabilities stemming from mental disorders and/or substance abuse.

For mental and/or substance-related disorders, the policy illustrated, which includes any riders, only provides up to 24 months of benefits during your lifetime, unless you remain continuously confined in a hospital for treatment.

Benefits will not be paid for more than 24 months during the lifetime of the policy for total disability caused by a mental/nervous disorder and/or drug or alcohol abuse. 

Benefits paid to you will be limited to an aggregate lifetime benefit of 24 months for mental, nervous and substance abuse disorders as defined by the rider. Benefits will be paid beyond the 24 month limit when you are continuously confined as an inpatient in a hospital, subject to the maximum benefit period. 

Student Loan

On average, physicians graduate with over $200,000 of student debt. With some carriers, the policyholder has the option to purchase a Student Loan Rider which will directly reimburse your student loan holder for the amount of any monthly repayments while on a claim. Oftentimes, this coverage is only available for the first 10-15 years of the policy’s effective date.

While it is important for physicians to budget for the cost of their student loan repayment when considering their disability coverage needs, specific student loan riders are not always necessary. Some physicians choose to put their budget towards a larger monthly benefit instead of the rider. Additionally, physicians may be able to defer their loans during a partial disability or apply for a discharge in the event of a permanent disability.

Ohio National
The Student Loan Reimbursement rider provides an additional monthly benefit to help make your required loan payments when you are totally disabled.

Mass Mutual
The Student Loan Rider pays a monthly benefit during periods of eligible Total Disability for the purpose of reimbursing your student loan debt.

The Platinum Advantage policy provides a reimbursement of student loan payments while the insured is totally disability. It’s available with either a 10-year or 15-year term from the policy effective date.

The Provider Choice policy (Premier and Select) offers an optional Student Loan Protection Rider that will allow you to obtain additional coverage (up to $2,000/month) above what you may otherwise qualify for based on your income or tailor coverage to your specific debt to reimburse $250-$2,000 per month toward student loan payments. benefits are only payable for the remaining portion of the 10 or 15-year term that has not elapsed.

While the insured continues to be totally disabled, the Student Loan Repayment Rider reimburses the loan amount paid by the insured in a given month, as the result of a student loan obligation. Benefits are payable as long as the loan obligation remains, but will not exceed the termination date of the rider.

Retirement Protection Benefit

Many physicians only purchase enough disability benefit to cover the cost of their most essential living expenses in the event of a disability. However, a long-term disability can have long-lasting impacts on your financial stability if it prevents you from investing money in your retirement savings. 

A retirement protection rider supplements any missed payments to retirement accounts when the policyholder is on claim. For example, if a physician is unable to contribute to an IRA, 401(k), or similar plan due to a disability, the retirement protection rider will fund equivalent payments into an irrevocable trust during the disability claim. The policyholder may invest the benefits paid to the trust as they wish, similar to IRA contributions. When the policyholder reaches retirement age, the money in the trust is paid out to the policyholder.   

Depending on your age, state, and retirement portfolio, it might make more sense to forgo the retirement protection rider, and instead purchase a larger monthly benefit amount which will allow you to continue to contribute to their retirement investments even while on a disability claim. Read more about retirement riders here and talk with your financial advisor to determine the best way approach to safeguard your retirement in the event of a disability.

Ohio National
The Student Loan Reimbursement rider provides an additional monthly benefit to help make your required loan payments when you are totally disabled.

Mass Mutual
The RetireGuard Rider provides benefits for a Total Disability to cover retirement contributions that would have been made to eligible retirement plans had the Insured not become Totally Disabilied. All definitions and provisions in the Policy apply to this rider unless otherwise specified.

The Platinum Advantage policy provides a reimbursement of student loan payments while the insured is totally disability. It’s available with either a 10-year or 15-year term from the policy effective date.

The Retirement Protection Plus Rider provides an additional benefit in the event of a total disability. It is designed to help replace contributions made by you and your employer to eligible retirement plans.

DI Retirement Security helps individuals continue saving for retirement if they become too sick or hurt to work. It is issued as a non-cancelable, guaranteed renewable Individual Disability Income insurance policy. In the event of a disability, benefits are paid to an irrevocable trust where the funds are invested. 

Other Definitions

As long as the premiums are paid on time, we will continue coverage through the day prior to the policy anniversary on or next following the insured’s 65th birthday.

Pre-Existing Condition
A condition for which symptoms existed that would cause an ordinarily prudent person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment within a 12-month period immediately prior to the coverage date(s), or for which medical advice or treatment was recommended by a doctor or received from a doctor within a 24-month period prior to the coverage date(s).

Waiting Period
The period immediately following the start of disability during which benefits do not accrue. Disability must continue to the end of the waiting period, shown in the policy specifications, before any benefits may be payable. The waiting period may be completed on an intermitted basis subject to the recurring disability provision.



Disability Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Life happens. We cannot predict the future, but we can be prepared for it. That is the purpose of insurance – to protect and provide for yourself and your loved ones if the unfortunate happens. Your life and disability insurance choices may make the difference in your family’s lifestyle after a tragedy strikes by paying the bills, financing children’s educations, and protecting your spouse’s retirement.

Premium and policy eligibility are based on age and current health status. Therefore, the best time to purchase a disability insurance policy is when you are young and healthy and while discounts are still available with residency or fellowship status. Additionally, many insurance carriers will restrict the amount of coverage you are eligible for if you have an employer-sponsored plan.

Physicians Thrive only offers what we view as the strongest and most comprehensive physician-specific plans from the leading disability insurance carriers. We work with Ameritas, Guardian, Metlife, Principal, MassMutual and The Standard.

The Comdex is not a rating, but a composite of all ratings. It ranks companies on a scale of 1 to 100, showing you at a glance, where a company is ranked among all rated companies. The Comdex Ranking is not equated to a grading system such as 90% equals an A or 80% equals a B grade.

The Comdex Ranking is a relative number based on the following factors:

• If a company’s ratings from one of the ratings services AM Best, Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s or Fitch changes

• If one or more companies are added or removed from the list of insurers rated by the above rating services

• If another company with similar ratings, experiences a rating change, the percentiles or Comdex Ranking will adjust

For example, if 1000 companies are rated, a company that is rated in the top one hundred of these companies, and meet the criteria for Comdex, will have a Comdex Ranking of approximately 90 or above.

Get Free Disability Insurance Quotes

When you receive your quote comparison, our experienced advisor will review the quotes, explain all your options and the verbiage in each policy in detail to help you create a customized plan that meets your needs and your budget. We will review each element of the plan and the cost associated with it to help you evaluate the value and build unique, cost-effective coverage tailored to your situation.

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