Are you looking to purchase an individual short-term disability insurance plan on your own – without going through your employer?

If so, you have arrived at the right place.

Protecting your income is very important. However, it is not always easy to find the right balance between access, cost, benefits and covered medical conditions.

Follow this three-part outline about buying short-term disability insurance for individuals.

  1. Features affecting premium costs and benefits at claim time
  2. Two policy types with distinct access points and childbirth benefits
  3. How the two choices impact pregnancy-related claims

Individual Short-Term Disability Policy Costs

Individual short-term disability insurance costs vary by the policy type, features that you choose, and the profile of the person seeking to make a purchase.

Of course, each of these variables also affects the claim payments you might receive in return should you become unable to work because of a covered medical condition. Therefore, carefully consider the cost/benefit tradeoff when making a purchase decision.

Online Quotes

Individual short-term disability quotes are available on another page for people who do not want to go through their employer and need an exact premium cost. Be prepared to answer a series of questions about yourself. Your personal profile affects the rates the companies will charge.

GenderDate of BirthHeight & Weight
OccupationTobacco UseHealth Conditions

Use our individual short-term disability insurance cost calculator to see how three features factor into the premium you might pay each month. Change each of these selections to find a configuration that fits your budget.

  • Benefit Period determines how long the contract will make claim payments during the time you are unable to perform the duties of your full-time occupation because of a covered medical condition.
  • Elimination Period determines the length of time you must be disabled before the contract begins to support claims payments for a covered medical condition.
  • Monthly Amount determines how much the contract makes in claim payments each period during the time you are unable to work because of a covered medical condition.

Coverage Types

Individual short-term disability insurance actually has two different coverage types. Most site visitors do not understand these distinctions until learning about them here. There are two sets of purchase channels – each with a unique value proposition.

  • Private plans not through employers offer the easiest access
  • Personal policies obtained through employers offer the best benefits

Private Plans

You can purchase private short-term disability insurance plans directly – not through your employer. Contact an independent agent or broker. It puts you in control of the process and widens access to more people.

However, the private plans bought directly have two big drawbacks.

  1. Coverage for normal childbirth is not included (see below)
  2. Medical and financial underwriting is more strict

Personal Policies

You can buy personal short-term disability insurance policies at the worksite. Employees pay the premiums themselves by a payroll deduction. Each singular employee owns the coverage, not the group.

Personal policies obtained at the worksite have one drawback: your employer must offer the option. However, if they do, the personal policies have two advantages.

  1. Coverage for normal childbirth is included (see below)
  2. Medical and financial underwriting is more lenient

Ask your employer to make a voluntary policy available to you and your peers.

Individual Short-Term Disability Pregnancy

Apply the lessons learned above to find the best individual short-term disability insurance option for pregnancy. The two designs offer a starkly different set of tradeoffs for women with childbearing in mind.

Be aware, both options require women to purchase coverage before conception. Pregnancy is a pre-existing condition wherever you turn.

Pregnancy Complications

Both individual short-term disability insurance types will cover medical complications of pregnancy that cause mom to miss work prior to her due date. Approximately 25% of women will experience a medical problem that might require bed rest or interfere with job duties.

A pregnancy disability leave could last 6 months or longer. In addition, any person could suffer an accident or illness. The two reasons combined make for a strong value proposition for either alternative.

Recovery From Childbirth

Only one individual short-term disability insurance type covers the most common maternity leave need – recovery from normal childbirth. Labor and delivery cause 100% of women to take time off from the job. Therefore, this benefit is very important.

  • Private plans bought without employers do not cover childbirth recovery
  • Personal policies obtained at the worksite create maternity leave pay
    • 6-weeks for vaginal delivery
    • 8-weeks for C-section birth

Steps for Getting the Ideal Policy

Postpartum Disorders

Both individual short-term disability insurance types often cover postpartum disorders that delay mom’s return to the job beyond the standard 6 to 8 weeks. A small percentage of women experience a medical complication during delivery such as bleeding, infections, and injuries that take a long time to resolve.

However, the two options may handle claims for postpartum disorders differently. The possible gap in benefits during mom’s recovery from childbirth causes this distinction.

  • Private plans obtained without employer may impose a new elimination period
  • Personal policies obtained at the worksite would consider this a continuation
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