Northwestern Mutual Expands Disability Insurance Options for Medical Professionals
Northwestern Mutual, a financial security company that offers a range of products (such as life insurance, long-term care insurance, and disability income), recently announced that it will be introducing more options and flexibility for disability insurance solutions for medical professionals, including physicians and dentists.
Kamilah Williams-Kemp, VP of risk management, explains that Northwestern Mutual has served medical professionals for over 50 years and is consistently on the lookout for new, innovative solutions that allow them to evolve with medical clients’ evolving needs.
The Importance of Defining Total Disability
A disability insurance contract’s definition of total disability is essential, as it determines whether the policyholder may collect partial or full benefits in the event that they are disabled.
To provide medical professionals more flexibility and options for their disability insurance, Northwestern Mutual has decided to enhance its Medical True Own Occupation definition. Recognized as the most robust of its kind, its first iteration was introduced in 2009 after physicians provided input regarding their personal disability income insurance policies.
Now, medical professionals insured by Northwestern Mutual will have the option to choose one of two definitions of disability for their policy:
#1. True Own Occupation
The True Own Occupation definition states that if a medical professional is:
- Totally disabled;
- Unable to perform substantial and material duties of their regular occupation; and
- Choose to work in an occupation other than their regular occupation at the time of the onset of disability,
…then the policyholder will be eligible to receive full monthly benefits for total disability regardless of the income they earn from the new occupation.
#2. Medical True Own Occupation
The Medical True Own Occupation definition states that if a medical professional is 1) unable to perform the substantial and material duties of their regular occupation that generate at least 50% of direct patient care billings, but 2) can still perform one or more of the other substantial and material duties of their regular occupation, then the policyholder can choose not to work and still be eligible to collect their full monthly benefits.
Advantages for Medical Professionals
Williams-Kemp goes on to explain that while income protection is integral to any financial plan, it's especially prudent for medical professionals to have it for various reasons, such as:
- The vast majority of medical professionals will start practicing while still burdened with significant student debt;
- Medical professionals begin their careers later in life; and
- Most medical professionals do not reap the fruits of their labor immediately; rather, they stand to benefit from upfront investments (such as tuition and training costs) over the arc of their careers.
According to Williams-Kemp, Northwestern Mutual understands that physicians, dentists, and other medical specialists need disability insurance early on, as a lot can change over the course of their careers in terms of primary income-generating activities.
The ability to choose between a True Own Occupation definition and an enhanced Medical True Own Occupation definition isn’t limited to new policyholders. Existing policyholders may also leverage these expanded options to their benefit: those with recently issued disability policies can take advantage of them without any additional underwriting, while clients with older disability insurance policies may acquire these options if applicable underwriting requirements are met.
Our Lawyers Specialize in Disability Insurance Claims
Because our law firm has always focused only on disability insurance, our lawyers are experts in legal representation for disability insurance benefits. That means our disability lawyers have:
- Won several major disability lawsuits that help make better laws for disability claimants;
- Experience fighting every major insurance company, such as UNUM, Hartford, MetLife, CIGNA, Prudential, and more.
- Successfully represented hundreds of clients and won millions of dollars in disability benefits.
Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, we can help clients across the country.
Disability insurance companies have lawyers. You should too. Call the Dabdoub Law Firm to get experienced disability lawyers on your side. We can help with:
- Submitting a disability insurance claim;
- Appealing a long-term disability denial;
- Negotiating a lump-sum settlement; or
- Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.
Call (800) 969-0488 to request a free consultation with a disability attorney. No fees or costs until you get paid.