Known by multiple generations as the company that sponsored “Wild Kingdom,” Mutual of Omaha has long been a company with a commitment to having a quality product line. In addition to a full complement of health and life insurance products, their disability insurance (DI) policies are quite robust. They are available in both short-term and long-term coverage.
This review will put their long-term disability insurance product in the spotlight because it has had a much higher adoption rate than their short-term product.
Mutual of Omaha's long-term disability product is called Mutual Income Solutions. It is for individuals only. It’s not available as a group product.
There are several considerations the company factors in when determining their disability insurance pricing:
- Maximum monthly benefit: the monthly dollar amount the policyholder receives if they can’t work due to illness or injury. Mutual of Omaha’s minimum benefit is $300 per month, and its monthly maximum is $20,000.
- Benefit period: the length of time the insured receives benefit payments after becoming disabled. They have eight different options, ranging from 6 months up to age 70.
- Elimination period: the number of days the policyholder has to wait before benefit payments begin (similar to a deductible for medical insurance). The longer the elimination period, the higher the premium. Elimination periods on Solutions start at 30-days and go as high as 730 days.
- Age: Policy issue ages are 18 to 61 years old. Like life insurance, premiums increase each year the insured gets older.
The following are benefits that are included in the Solutions DI policy:
If the person receiving the monthly income benefit dies while receiving payments, there is a provision providing a one-time payment of three times the monthly benefit amount to a named beneficiary.
If the insured goes back to work after receiving DI benefit payments from Mutual of Omaha, the elimination period is waived if the insured suffers a recurring disability within six months. If the insured suffers an unrelated disability within 30 days of going back to work, the elimination period will also be waived.
Waiver of Premium
Premiums for the policy are no longer paid after the shorter of either the policy’s elimination period or 90 days.
Presumptive Total Disability
Also known as own occupation disability, if the insured cannot return to work in their previous profession, they are considered totally and permanently disabled, even though they may be capable of working in another profession.
For example, a heart surgeon who lost two fingers in an accident and could not operate because of that would be considered totally and permanently disabled by Mutual of Omaha, even if that surgeon could work in another profession, such as being a medical school professor.
Learn More: Own-Occupation Disability Insurance
Transplant Donor Benefits
An insured who becomes disabled during surgery to donate an organ or tissue is entitled to full benefits under Solutions.
There is no cost to the insured if they are receiving vocational rehab services while they’re being paid DI benefits.
Mutual of Omaha calls “Military Suspension” a benefit, but it’s much more of a policy provision than a benefit. The reason: coverage may be suspended if a person is called to active duty. During that time, they aren’t responsible for making premium payments, and they don’t need to re-qualify for coverage when they return from active duty.
There are two policy types to choose from when applying for Solutions:
- Non-cancelable: As long as premiums are paid current or within the 30-day grace period, premiums will never increase, and Mutual of Omaha will guarantee claims payment during the entirety of the benefit period.
- Guaranteed renewable: While the policy is in force, coverage is guaranteed to be renewed (as long as premiums are paid), and the rates can only increase if an entire class of policyholders is affected. For example, one cardiologist couldn’t be singled out for a rate increase, but all cardiologists could be given a rate increase.
Unless an applicant chooses a paid rider called “return of premium,” they can add either or both of these options:
- Automatic Increase Benefit: The monthly benefit is automatically increased by 4% (inflation protection) on each policy anniversary date.
- Future Insurability Option: The insured can increase their monthly benefit every three years after coverage was purchased.
Group disability insurance has never been a strong suit of Mutual of Omaha. Not because their policy lacks solid benefits, but because of stiff competition from companies specializing in group plans,
The short-term disability plan (also called Solutions) is very flexible for employers. They can design a customized plan for their business by choosing if they will contribute to the employee’s monthly premium and have an annual enrollment period.
Employees can choose the length of their elimination period, but the employer selects the length of the benefit period. Many companies choose a benefit period of 26 weeks, while employees typically select a 7-day waiting period.
Optional short-term Di features are:
- Survivor benefit
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Reasonable accommodation
Because of the number of factors determining the monthly premiums for Solutions, Mutual of Omaha provides a tool on their website allowing someone interested in DI coverage to enter their personal data into the system and receive a price quote.
Mutual of Omaha is a Fortune 500 company that was founded in 1909. Total employees number over 6,000, most of whom are located at the home office in Omaha, Nebraska.
Though Mutual of Omaha is not known for superior policyholder service, they are held in high regard for their financial strength and diversified line of quality insurance products.
Experienced financial advisors recommend to their clients covered under a short-term group disability insurance policy that they also apply for a long-term DI policy to have complete financial protection. Many people find the open enrollment period to be an excellent time to evaluate their insurance coverages.
Having grown up in upstate New York, Bob Phillips spent over 15 years in the financial services world and has been making freelance writing contributions to blogs and websites since 2007. He resides in North Texas with his wife and Doberman puppy.
The information and content provided herein is for educational purposes only, and should not be considered legal, tax, investment, or financial advice, recommendation, or endorsement. Breeze does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, reliability or usefulness of any testimonials, opinions, advice, product or service offers, or other information provided here by third parties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel.