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The only thing more difficult than deciding to get a disability insurance policy is deciding which one to buy. Which benefits will you actually need? How much will that cost you? It’s a lot for one person to think about… 

But life insurance should alleviate stress, not cause it. With a little insight into one of the top disability contracts out there, you can find a plan that works with your career and budget. So if something happens on the job, you’re covered. 

In this episode, Billy discusses what Mass Mutual disability coverage offers and if their plans support your career or just add to the expense. 

Highlights from this episode include:

  • How Mass Mutual disability coverage saves you thousands of dollars and protects your career (even if you get a temporary job).  (1:17)

  • Finding a partial disability plan that protects your bank account during recovery instead of stealing from it. (3:40)

  • How to avoid paying inflation rates in a total disability plan (even after a decade). (5:22)

  • How Mass Mutual’s student and service member policies offer premium rates that compliment your lifestyle today. (6:50)

To ask questions on insurance coverage or to get a quote, please don’t hesitate to call us anytime at 704-270-2376, and I’d be glad to discuss your specific situation with you.


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Billy Gwaltney and this is the CYA podcast. This show is for the physician who understands the importance of protecting everything you've worked so hard to achieve. Each week I'll bring you tips and advice to help you cut through the clutter and misinformation and show you exactly what you need to preserve your income and way of life. If you're ready to achieve the peace of mind that only financial security can bring. Let's get started. Here is your host, Billy Gwaltney.

(00:29): Welcome to today's episode of the cover, your assets podcast. This is Billy Gwaltney, and I'm very happy to be with you today. Today, we're going to cover one of the top disability contracts in more detail, and working with physicians across the country. There are only a few top tier true specialty disability contracts. And one of these is mass mutual, and we're going to talk about them today in more detail, just so you can get an idea of whether or not they may be a good fit for you, and you can hit here. Some of the highlights, of course, this is not meant to be a comprehensive review or exhaustive analysis. You would want to make sure for your particular situation, that it's a good fit, but this should give you a good idea. Mass mutual is a mutual insurance company, which means that the policy holders own the company.

(01:18): That's a good thing. The company started back in 1851. So they've been around for a while. Another good thing, their policy is non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable, which means that once the policy is issued and you pay the premium, then they can never change the terms or the definitions or the rate, or they cannot cancel the policy without your authorization. So there are no moving parts to that. And that's really important. As far as the key highlights of what makes mass mutual, one of the top contracts. The first one is the definition of disability. They do offer a true own occupation, definition of disability, which means two things. One, if you cannot perform the material duties of your occupation, then you are considered to be totally disabled. Regardless of any income, you might later earn doing a different job. Okay? So if you're a clinical physician or a surgeon and you can't do clinic, or you can't do surgery, you could then say consult, or you would be considered totally disabled.

(02:23): You could then consult, write a book, do telemedicine something different, and that would be considered a new job. And that income would not impact your disability benefit. That's really important. Mass mutual is an excellent company. This is a really strong contract, and that's one of the key reasons why, or another feature that they offer is their future insurability option. That allows you to increase coverage over the course of your career as your income increases. Now, assuming this is on your policy through medical underwriting, if you're in training and you finished training and you transitioned to an attending, as your income goes up, you're likely going to want to increase your coverage. When you do that, if you have that option on your policy, you can go say from 5,000 to 15,000 with mass mutual. And when you go to do that increase, you would not have to go back through medical underwriting again.

(03:16): So your, your health status at the time of the increase would not factor in. And also the rate structure would be the same. So any discount you obtained and whatever the rate structure is in place, that would be the rate structure in place for the increase as well. That's really important. So there are no moving parts to the definitions, to your health or to the rate. Another key feature is what's called an enhanced residual benefit. And in that are, are two elements. First is the residual benefit that pays. If you're a partially disabled and suffer, at least a 15% or greater or loss of income, then they will pay you whatever that percentage loss of income is. They'll pay that percentage of your policy benefit. And that's really important. So it's not all or nothing. You don't have to be totally disabled to activate the policy.

(04:06): You can be a partial disability. The second key component to the enhanced residual benefit is what's called a recovery benefit and that's vital. It pays if you medically recover from a disability and you returned to work, but when you returned to work, your income does not recover to what it used to be before you were disabled. And that happens a lot. We have clients that have collected for over a decade from that. And so if you suffer at least a 15% or greater loss of income, once you recover and return to work, whatever that percentage of income loss is, they'll pay that percentage of your policy. Even though you're no longer medically disabled. Again, that's really, really critical to have a mass mutual offers, a psychiatric benefit that would pay benefits for drug addiction, alcohol addiction, depression, and anxiety. This would be payable for up to two years per event or per recurrence.

(04:56): And again, it assumes you're approved through the medical underwriting process. If that's on your policy, then that if you're out for two years for a psychiatric disability, you can come back to work and then have a S another situation come up a decade later, and there would be another two year benefit available to you. The mass mutual contract includes a presumptive benefit, which is important to have as well. If certain events happen, they're going to presume that you're totally disabled. Even if you keep working in your occupation again, that's important to have. That's a complete loss of speech is one event. Another would be a complete loss of hearing in both years. Another would be a total loss of sight in both eyes. So blindness and another one would be, or a complete loss of use of both hands or both feet or one hand in one foot.

(05:47): These do not have to be permanent. And so if those events happen and you wanted to keep working or were able to keep working, then they're gonna presume that you're totally disabled and still pay your benefit. Okay? The mass mutual contract includes a Cola rider that you do pay extra for, but if you wanted, it would be included in your policy that would increase your benefit. Once you're on claim to offset, inflation, Cola stands for cost of living adjustment rider. And so if you have that on your policy, it would pay the initial benefit for the first year. And then in the 13th month, they would bump it up by 3% and it would compound that each year. And so it would be 3% each year, 3% of the prior year's full amount. Again, you do pay an extra fee for that. So your premium is different, but it could be worth it.

(06:35): If you're disabled for say a decade or longer, you probably be glad some kind of inflation hedge was on there, but it's not required. And so you decide if you want that at the time of purchase a unique segment of the market that mass mutual is able to provide service for and coverage for is active duty military. If you're a physician and we work with a number of these, first of all, thank you for your service. If you're in the military, if you're active duty, they're the only top carrier that will provide covered while you're inactive duty. Now there's some limitations if you purchase it while you're already active duty, but you can, you can certainly purchase it once you're active, or if you have a policy and become active duty, then it would continue again, as long as you obviously continue to pay the premium.

(07:20): And that's an important segment to serve. And again, they're the only top carrier that offers coverage for active duty military personnel. And there are some limitations to that, which we can talk about if, if your particular situation fits that category or scenario, a couple of supplemental benefits that you can add on to a mass mutual contract. One would be a student loan repayment rider that would pay an additional benefit above and beyond your policy benefit too, to cover student loan payments while disabled, you do pay an extra fee for that. It's not dramatic. It's probably seven to 10% depending on your age. But that's something you might want to think about if it's important for your situation. And other one is a catastrophic benefit, which may be less important, but still something to at least know about it would pay an additional benefit above your policy benefit.

(08:15): If you are catastrophic, fully disabled, which means unable to perform two or more activities of daily living. And so those are some of the key features that the mass mutual contract offers. Again, they are an excellent contract and excellent company. We have a lot of clients with them. And so certainly something to consider as they've been doing this for a really long time. I hope you found this helpful as always, please feel free to text me anytime if you'd like to arrange a conversation or to ask questions. My number is (704) 270-2376. Again, that's (704) 270-2376. And I'd be happy to chat with you if you'd like until next time. This is Billy Gwaltney. Thank you as always for your time. I do.

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