Ameritas recognizes the challenges our field associates and customers are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are introducing several temporary measures to alleviate some of these challenges in order to make it easier to sell our disability products and process applications. As the landscape evolves, we may further update our guidelines. We will communicate any additional changes.
We understand the hardship placed on our policyholders during this national emergency, we’re extending our premium grace period by an additional 60 days. We can apply the extension as soon as we’re contacted by the client.
EZ App underwriting enhancements
We have increased mini-exam limits under the EZ App tele-underwriting process. Depending on the medical history of an applicant, our underwriters may find it necessary to request a mini-exam even if it is not indicated in the chart below. These limits are in effect for applications received by May 31, 2020. We are currently reviewing pending cases and will apply the new guidelines to those that are eligible.
Please note, good health statements may be required at policy delivery.
Medical requirements – Individual DI policies
||Up to $10,000
||Up to $6,000
*Tele-underwriting phone interview (TUI).
Mini-exam includes blood, urine, height, weight, blood pressure and pulse readings. Medical questions are not included in the mini-exam since they are asked during the tele-underwriting phone interview.
1Underwriting reserves the right to ask for a mini-exam for cause at underwriter discretion.
Additionally, we will underwrite Business Overhead Expense (BOE) applications with a base monthly benefit of up to $15,000 (no optional riders available and excludes applications written in Florida) without requiring a mini-exam.
Until our vendor has updated its system, when placing an EZ App order with ExamOne, if the amount applied for does not require a mini-exam based on the above new limits, please use the Jet Issue code 2810. By using this code, ExamOne will only complete the tele-underwriting phone interview and will not schedule a mini-exam.
For application amounts in excess of these new limits, we may be able to use alternative information in place of the mini-exam. This may include lab tests completed for another insurance application, or an Attending Physician Statement (APS) that includes a physical exam and lab results that have been completed within the last 12 months. Please contact your underwriter in the event you have a situation where this may be a possibility.
Understandably, many applicants may have not filed their 2019 tax return in which case, we’ll accept 2018 tax returns. We’ll also review other financial documentation, including W-2 forms and paystubs, to financially underwrite cases.
Extension of customary time frames
We will extend by 60 days, our usual time frames for collecting underwriting and policy delivery requirements. If additional time is necessary, please contact your underwriter to discuss the situation. We will make every attempt to accommodate requests for extensions. If a case is closed as incomplete, we can later reopen once the requirements become available.
Future Increase Option (FIO) requests
We recognize it may be difficult during this time to connect with an insured to discuss exercising the FIO rider. As a result, we are expanding the window during which insureds may apply to increase coverage on their DInamic Foundation policy. For policies with an anniversary date falling between March 1 and May 31, 2020, we’ll accept FIO applications for up to 90 days past the policy anniversary date.
- We ask that a note of explanation accompany the FIO application to notify the service team and underwriters that the request is being submitted outside of the normal time frame due to the COVID-19
- Note, if the policy also includes an Automatic Increase Rider, the effective date of the FIO increase must be the original policy anniversary
Reminder, all forms and applications must follow the issue state of the original policy, regardless of where the client resides at the time the increase is made.
When reviewing disability claim submissions, there are several factors considered to determine if an insured is disabled under the terms of the policy. We’ll look at the restrictions and limitations preventing the insured from working, as well as other criteria, which include but are not limited to:
- Is the insured unable to work due to a diagnosed sickness or injury for a sufficient length of time to satisfy the elimination/waiting period?
- Has the policy definition of disability been met?
- Is there an attending physician certifying the disabling condition?
- Is the insured under the appropriate care of a physician for the condition?
If an insured chooses to not go to work or if he/she is not permitted to work under the instructions of an employer, or local or federal governments, the basic policy requirements of a disability are not met.