Ameritas FLX Living Benefits Review

Written by Jeff Root

Ameritas FLX Living Benefits Term policy gives you the coverage and flexibility you need when unexpected medical situations arise. You can change your protection as needed and protect your financial future.

This is a term policy at the end of which you can choose to convert to a permanent policy if needed. It functions the same as other term policies, with the key exception being your options for improved living benefits.

About Ameritas Mutual

Ameritas is part of a larger, mutual organization. This is important because being a mutual organization means they are owned by policyholders and not shareholders.

This means they can make long-term financial decisions in the best interest of customers and policyholders, rather than short-term decisions which are only good for generating quarterly returns to shareholders. They have used this tactic for over 125 years to always deliver on their financial commitments.

As part of that, the company has living benefits that their customers can enjoy at critical times in life.

Financial Rating

This company was given an A+ or Strong rating from Standard and Poor’s for their financial strength. They are the 5th highest ranked life insurance company. They have also earned an A or excellent from A.M. Best, the 3rd highest ranking. The company has 3.5 million customers. They managed 25.8 billion dollars in assets. Last year they paid $2.6 billion in benefits to their policyholders.

Company Financial Rating
A.M. Best A
Moody’s A1
Fitch N/A
Standard & Poor’s A+

Ameritas FLX Living Benefits Review

When families are unprepared for a death in the family it can cripple their finances quickly. The same is true of contracting terminal or chronic illnesses. That is why this particular policy offers an accelerated death benefit Rider so that in the event that this happens your family is ableto access a portion of the policy prior to passing away.

Almost 80% of Americans over estimate the cost of their term insurance. Premiums are based on your age, your health, and how long you want that coverage to last. If you qualify, you can purchase up to $300,000 of coverage without having to take a physical exam. If you want amounts larger than this there are only a few simple tests and an in-person health interview which you can schedule at your convenience.

Death Benefit

The death benefit provided by this policy is a key resource for anyone who wants to protect their family in the event that they pass away unexpectedly. It is there to help families avoid changing their lifestyle, giving up their home, or changing schools. More often than not, families do not pay income taxes on the money, which is one of the most valuable aspects.

Living Benefits

There are living benefits afforded as well. These are paid to you as the policyholder not your beneficiaries. For the accelerated death benefit you get a lump sum for critical or terminal illness.

For the chronic illness benefit, you can have the money paid in a lump sum or in installments. If the amount you need exceeds the limits by the IRS, you can reduce it to installment payments to avoid tax consequences.

The living benefits you choose to receive are completely in your control. You can choose to receive only a small portion to meet your needs and subsequently you can set things up so that you take out 5 accelerations as needed.

You can also take out a larger lump sum. In any case, you have control over the amount you receive, and when you receive it, based on your changing needs.

There are no restrictions associated with this either. You get to spend it how and where you see fit. You can use it in any way you want.

Critical Illness

When your family is hit with a critical illness, it is often unexpected. And the last thing a family needs to worry about in such cases is money. Or at least that is what Ameritas believes.

They recognize the simple truth that in such situations when you tend to need money the most, income goes down.

With this policy, however, you can accelerate up to 90% of your death benefit, or up to $1.5 million—whichever is higher. By comparison, almost all other companies limit that rate to 50% of the benefit.

In these cases, the benefit total and your life expectancy are used to calculate the exact amount of benefit you can be advanced if you have been diagnosed with a qualifying illness.

Definitions of qualifying critical illnesses:

  • Life threatening cancer
  • Stroke
  • Major heart attack
  • End stage renal failure
  • Major organ transplant
  • ALS
  • Blindness resulting from diabetes
  • Paralysis of two or more limbs
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Benign brain tumor
  • Major burns
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Coma
  • Heart value replacement
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery

The amount that you receive for this advance will be reduced from your total death benefit, and the more serious your condition, the more money you can take out of your death benefit. The amount that you choose to use is entirely up to you. You have all of the flexibility as the policyholder.

Ameritas FLX Living Benefits Rates

Consider this sample: A couple has purchased $500,000 in coverage for 30 years. They bought the policy when they purchased their home, ten years ago, to make sure there was enough money to cover the remainder of the mortgage.

Now, at age 40 the husband needs a kidney transplant. He is not able to work and has many medical bills as a result. He used his living benefits to get the money he needs to cover the mortgage, daily living expenses, and new medical bills.

Purchase Information Male, 30, non-tobacco, preferred
Initial coverage amount $500,000
Critical Illness amount $151,008
Total premiums paid $5,670
Death benefit remaining $50,000
New monthly premiums $9

Realistically, every 40 seconds someone has a stroke or heart attack and in America, this adds up to over $315 billion in costs. Moreover, most of those people do not qualify for coverage nor are they able to take out loans to cover the unexpected bills. But the unique living benefits aspect of this policy is there where others are not.

Ameritas FLX Living Benefits for Chronic Illness

Chronic Illnesses are exhausting for everyone involved. With this policy, you can accelerate up to 90% of your death benefit if you are unable to do 2 out of 6 activities of daily living for at least 90 days, or if you have been diagnosed with a severe cognitive impairment.

The current value of your death benefit and your life expectancy are used to calculate the amount you can be advanced. Whatever amount you are advanced will be taken out of the death benefit your beneficiaries receive. The more severe the chronic illness, the more benefit you can take out.

Definitions of qualifying chronic illness:

The inability to perform at least 2 of the following 6 activities for at least 90 days:

  • Dressing
  • Continence
  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Transferring

How FLX Living Benefits Work for Chronic Illnesses

Consider this sample: A couple has purchased $750,000 in coverage for 30 years. They bought the policy when they had their first child. Their oldest child has recently graduated and their youngest is still in college.

The wife has a degenerative muscle disorder and now needs assistance on a daily basis. At 51 years old, the couple is using the chronic illness benefit to get money needed to pay for things like in home health care and modifications to their home so that it is wheelchair friendly.

Purchase Information Female, 26, non-tobacco, standard
Initial coverage amount $750,000
Critical Illness amount $222,385
Total premiums paid $23,721
Death benefit remaining $75,000
New monthly premiums $12

Ameritas FLX Living Benefits for Terminal Illness

Over 5 million people live with Alzheimer’s and this is projected to rise to 16 million. Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s require assistance, but it is impossible to know ahead of time what level of assistance that is. Care is expensive, regardless of the type:

  • A private room in a nursing home is $7,000 per month
  • Care in assisted living facilities can be over $3,000 per month
  • Home health aides cost $21 per hour
  • Homemaker services cost $19 per hour
  • Adult day health care services cost $67 per hour

The terminal illness benefit lets you accelerate up to 90% of your benefit if you have been given 12 months or less to live. This gives you money to spend as you wish, to cover things not covered by your health insurance or spend your remaining months however you see fit.

There is no set amount of living benefit that you will receive. It is based on your life expectancy and your illness. The company will prepare a quote for you if you choose to exercise this rider and then you can decide how much of that quote you want to take out, if any.

How FLX Living Benefits Work for Chronic Illnesses

Consider this sample: A man, aged 50, has retired from his first career and started on a second. He took out a business loan for 15 years to cover his startup costs for the new business.

The policy was for $300,000. But now, at 59, that same man has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given 9 months left to live. He uses his living benefit to get all of his financial affairs arranged.

Purchase Information Male, 50, non-tobacco, standard
Initial coverage amount $300,000
Critical Illness amount $252,502
Total premiums paid $11,548
Death benefit remaining $30,000
New monthly premiums $15

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

If you are taking out the Ameritas FLX term policy, you can safeguard the financial hardships your family would face by choosing the appropriate amount of coverage.

We suggest that you consider any debt you have, how income your family would need for everyday living in the event of your death, how much you owe for educational, and mortgage expenses. You should then calculate how many years of protection you want.

Finding the Best Life Insurance Coverage for You

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