Why CRNA's are Leaving the AANA plan for Individual Disability Insurance
I’ve received a great number of calls recently due to the AANA association disability policy rate increase. If you’re an AANA member and have the group plan underwritten by New York Life, you’ve just seen your premiums increase substantially. This is typically due to unexpected claims experience within the group, and a reduction in the expected profitability of the plan. When this happens, policies that are allowed to raise their rates often do, and the AANA plan was one such example.
The question is what can you do about it, and are there better options outside of the AANA plan. Fortunately for many CRNA’s, you can find a more comprehensive policy with guaranteed pricing if you look to the individual disability insurance markets. The bad news is that if you have any significant health issues, you could be forced to stay with the AANA plan due to the fact that the individual plans will all require you to pass a health screening in order to be approved for a policy, so be sure to talk with your agent before you discontinue the AANA plan.
Pricing – While association plans like the AANA are often attractive for younger people early on, they often increase in cost every 5 to 10 years. There is also no limit to how much these plans can increase in cost, as the pricing is never guaranteed. This is what we just saw with the AANA plan – an unexpected and significant price increase. Individual disability insurance plans, on the other hand, can be structured so that the premiums are level and do not increase as you get older.
In many situations, we are now seeing individual disability insurance plans with locked in pricing that is less expensive than what CRNA’s were projected to pay with the AANA plan after the increase.
Own Occupation and Partial Disabilities – Having coverage for being totally disabled in your own occupation as a CRNA is very important, and something that you can buy in an individual policy. This is known as “own occupation” coverage, and simply means that if you can’t be a CRNA, you’d receive benefits even if you could work in some other occupation.
Where are Individual Disability Insurance plans better?
It is just as important to protect against something that partially disables you, and prevents you from working full time. With an individual disability plan, you can have this partial disability protection without first needing to be totally disabled. With the AANA plan, however, you must first be totally disabled and then recover on a part time basis in order to receive any benefits. This isn’t helpful if you suffer a condition which slowly debilitates you from day one. In this example, the AANA plan wouldn’t pay unless you were totally disabled from your duties; whereas you may qualify for benefits under an individual policy’s residual or partial disability provisions.
There are other benefits to individual disability insurance policies, but the own occupation, better coverage for partial disabilities, and the guaranteed pricing is why CRNA’s are taking a long hard look at their association plan and comparing it to other options. In many situations, they are finding that they can get something better for lower premiums that they know will not increase over time.
Be sure to request a quote to see if you can improve upon your coverage at this time.
William Olmsted is a Registered Representative of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). Securities products offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Financial Balance Group, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian.
This material contains the current opinions of William Olmsted but not necessarily those of Guardian or its subsidiaries and such opinions are subject to change without notice.
2018-71534 Exp. 12/20