ADA insurance

Sept. 9, 2010
Beginning with the 2010-11 academic year, student members of the American Dental Association and American Student Dental Association can obtain free disability insurance as a member benefit.

Beginning with the 2010-11 academic year, student members of the American Dental Association and American Student Dental Association can obtain free disability insurance as a member benefit.

The ADA Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Programs approved a proposal to offer ADA-sponsored disability insurance to student members on a noncontributory basis, which has been done since the 1970s for ADA-sponsored life insurance. The council’s action was reported to the ADA Board of Trustees in July 2010.

“The ADA is committed to helping its members achieve financial security throughout their lifetimes, and one way to do that is to provide access to insurance protection as a risk management tool even while in dental school,” observed Dr. Larry Browder, CMIRP chair.

“It’s absolutely critical for students to protect themselves financially against the risk of an injury or illness that could prevent them from completing dental school or eventually earning a living as a dentist, especially when they’ve invested so much time and money preparing for this career.”

Premiums for student coverage are paid by the ADA Insurance Plans.

The ADA student disability plan provides $2,000 in basic monthly disability insurance, plus up to $150,000 (payable in $2,000 monthly installments) to repay student loans. In addition, student members can obtain $50,000 in free ADA term life insurance while in school.

It is intended that this coverage will be continued after graduation to help new dentists maintain a foundation of lifelong personal insurance protection. New dentists can build on that foundation as their needs and responsibilities grow.

Dr. Browder hopes students will look beyond the free offer and recognize the intrinsic value of the coverage.

“Like life insurance, disability insurance has several uses,” he explained. “It gives you a source of income if you’re disabled, it provides funds to help repay debts, and it can serve as future loan collateral when you’re ready to buy a practice.”

Dr. Meg Ryan, former ASDA trustee and ASDA liaison to CMIRP, added, “The ADA has made it very easy for dental students to get two types of personal insurance they need—life and disability—just by signing up. It’s an excellent way to prepare for life after dental school.”

The student disability coverage automatically renews every academic year, even through postdoctorate study, and converts after graduation to the ADA plans for practicing dentists: $4,000 in total monthly coverage, including $2,000 for personal expenses through the ADA Income Protection plan, and $2,000 for business-related expenses such as student or practice loans through the ADA Overhead Expense plan.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for today’s dental students,” said Dr. Browder. “There are so many positives, and no negatives. Unlike some student insurance programs, it has full portability after the new dentist graduates; ADA coverage can be renewed no matter where the doctor chooses to reside or affiliate, as long as his or her ADA membership remains active.”

Important notes
Coverage is guaranteed for students under age 40; students who are 40 or older may enroll and receive all program benefits after satisfying medical underwriting. Students must sign up to receive the free coverage; enrollment forms are available from ASDA leaders or online at

Automatic enrollment, which eliminates the need for students to sign up individually, also may be arranged by dental schools that provide ASDA membership to all students.

Disability benefits are subject to a 90-day waiting period. Benefits are not payable for any disability that occurs during the first two years after enrollment if it involves an illness, physical condition, or symptom that existed or was treated within six months prior to enrollment.

For more information about ADA Insurance Plans, visit, send an e-mail to [email protected], or call (888) 463-4545.

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