Disability insurance isn’t like major medical insurance post-Obamacare. While major medical carriers have to take all comers, regardless of their medical history (provided they apply during an open enrollment or special enrollment period), disability insurance is still medically underwritten. That means applicants must generally submit to a medical exam and a health records check for a pre-existing condition.
That makes it tough for those who already have known medical issues. These can make getting disability or life insurance more expensive, or even impossible to get – at any price.
But depending on your situation, you may still be able to get quality disability insurance – at an affordable price, via a special feature that some carriers offer called an exclusion rider. This rider modifies the carrier’s standard insurance policy by excluding benefits for complications arising from medical conditions that you already have.
For example, if you already have a history of back problems, no carrier is going to want to issue a policy paying benefits if you can’t work anymore because you threw your back out or slipped a disc. But your policy may still be valuable benefits if you lose your ability to work because you are diagnosed with a totally unrelated condition!
Is the exclusion rider permanent?
In some cases, the exclusion rider could be temporary. For example, if you are being treated for a condition with a reasonable expectation of resolution, the insurance carrier may issue an exclusion rider that lasts for a few years, and agree to reconsider your condition at that time. You can reapply, and the insurance carrier may agree to remove the rider, because your prior condition appears unlikely to be a source of claims in the future.
Furthermore, an exclusion rider may exclude natural complications from known organic condition. But depending on the specific terms of the exclusion rider, you may still qualify for benefits if you are injured in an accident. So if you have a back problem and your exclusion rider excludes benefits for a disability resulting from a herniated disc, a devastating injury from a car wreck that puts you in a wheelchair may still qualify you for benefits. After all, you weren’t an elevated risk for car crashes when you bought the policy!
Exclusion riders generally benefit the insured, because they are an alternative to pricing disability insurance premiums beyond all reasonable affordability, and because they often prevent outright rejection of the application. Exclusion riders help protect physicians and their families.
When's the best time to buy?
Naturally, the best time to purchase disability insurance is when you are young and relatively healthy, before a potentially disqualifying medical condition sets in. But if that’s not a possibility for any reason for you, don’t give up and just go without the financial protection you need. Some carriers are more favorable to exclusion riders for specific conditions than others. That’s where we come in.
Call (866) 899-7318 today and we can discuss crafting an application that may involve an exclusion rider.
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