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Ameritas Insurance Review

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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Founded more than 100 years ago in Lincoln, Nebraska, Ameritas Insurance has grown to become a nationwide insurer. Their focus is on life and supplemental health insurance products for both individuals and groups.

About Ameritas

Ameritas was founded as Old Line Bankers Life Insurance Company of Nebraska I 1887. Initially a Midwest company, the company grew over time to cover the entire nation. The company formed a series of subsidiaries in the 1980s and 1990s to provide coverage in various new markets.

In 1988, a new name was adopted: Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. Ten years later, Ameritas Mutual Insurance Holding Company was created, and in 1999 it merged with Acacia Mutual Holding Corporation. Another merger in 2006 created UNIFI Mutual Holding Company, a name that lasted until 2012 when things came full circle and the name went back to Ameritas Mutual.

Ameritas writes life, supplemental insurance products, and retirement investments for individuals, businesses, and institutions. Products are sold through agents and financial professionals across the coverage area.

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Ameritas Products

Ameritas products are focused on supplemental health insurance as well as life and annuities.

Life Insurance

Ameritas writes a range of life insurance products including term life insurance, whole life insurance, and universal life insurance. They do not specifically state whether any of their policies have a simplified issue option that will not require a medical exam; this does not appear to be their product focus.

Term Life

Ameritas’ Keystone Term Life is designed to provide affordable coverage for a specific period of time. Terms range from one year up to 30 years. Terms can be renewed up to age 100, allowing the policy to be continued as needed.

Add-ons to term life policies include an Accidental Death Benefit, Waiver of Monthly Premiums, and a Children’s Insurance Rider. The site does not provide a minimum or maximum benefit amount, however, based on the quotes we performed listed later in this review, there is a good range of choices.

Whole Life

Ameritas offers two whole life policies – Keystone Whole and Keystone Foundation Whole. Both products offer a cash accumulation account that is guaranteed to grow, as well as annual dividends. The information on the site does not clearly explain what the difference is between these two policies.

There are a number of riders that can be added to the policy, including an accelerated death benefit, an accidental death benefit, and the flexible paid-up rider that allows faster growth of the cash accumulation account.

Universal Life

Ameritas offers three types of universal life insurance policy: universal, index universal and variable universal.

There are three standard universal life policies available. Excel Essential has a 15-year guarantee with payment of a minimum premium, and will then stay in force as long as the cash accumulation account contains at least $1. The Excel LifeValue is also a flexible universal life policy without the 15-year guarantee.

The third Universal policy is the Excel LifeValue Survivor policy. This plan covers two people and pays out on the death of the second while providing all of the features of a universal life insurance policy. This type of plan is frequently chosen by couples to keep costs down.

The Index Universal life product is available in two forms Excel Index and Excel Index Plus. This plan offers the benefits and features of a universal life insurance policy with an accumulation account that is attached to an equity index for growth.

The Excel Performance Variable Universal Life policy is a universal plan that allows a flexible choice of investment options for the accumulation account. The insured can choose to direct a portion of their premium payments to their selected investments.

Dental and Vision Plans

Ameritas main supplemental products for individuals are My Dental Plan and 20/20 Plus, both of which provide coverage for dental, vision, and hearing costs.

My Dental Plan for dental coverage has a selection of options; most plans cover preventative services at 100% and a range of coverage for other services. In-network providers cost less, but there is coverage available for out-of-network as well.

20/20 Plus offers vision screening coverage as well as coverage for prescription eyewear and contacts. This plan also includes hearing care benefits either in-network with EPIC or at another provider with out-of-network benefits.

Plan availability and included coverage vary from state to state, so it is best to research the benefits listed specifically for your state.

Other Individual Products

Ameritas offers several other products for supplemental care and retirement planning.

Disability insurance is available to provide financial protection in the event of a disability that renders you unable to work.

Annuities and other retirement products can be selected to help save money for retirement as well as prepare for other future financial needs. Ameritas financial professionals assist customers with choosing the right retirement planning products for their needs.

Group and Institutional Products

Ameritas writes group insurance plans for businesses and for public or nonprofit institutions such as schools and utilities.

These include group life insurance, group disability insurance, and retirement plans offered through employers or institutions to employees. They also write bonds and provide wealth management assistance.

Ameritas Rates

We quoted a term life insurance policy for a 30-year-old male in California using Ameritas’ quick quote system. The rates returned range based on underwriting class. A ten-year term policy for a non-tobacco user at the best possible rate (generally meaning no health concerns or risks) is $107 per year or $9.22 per month.

A $1,000,000 policy with the same parameters came back at $26.68 per month. Both of these rates are very reasonable, although the cost can rise significantly for those with health concerns or other higher risks.

Rates for other products vary greatly based on location and coverage needed, but quotes can be obtained online. The easy to use quote system returns a chart that allows you to compare rates for the various levels.

Ameritas Claims

We were unable to find a dedicated claims section on the company website, although there is a customer login portal through which that information might be available.

General contact information is provided for each type of policy for inquiries. Particularly when it comes to life insurance, it would be good to see claims information provided readily for beneficiaries who may not have access to a customer login.

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Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Ameritas has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+ and there has been a total of five customer complaints filed in the past three years. Only one of those was closed in the past 12 months.

There are only two reviews found on Yelp, both of which are negative. Both reviews state that the company refused to pay out on valid claims. This type of complaint is difficult to measure in terms of severity without both sides of the story – unless there are a large number of denied claims complaints, it is not usually a major red flag.

We found little else in the way of reviews, and for such a large company the complaint volume is very low. Overall, they appear to have a good reputation.

The Bottom Line

Ameritas offers good value based on our sample quotes and a good selection of life and supplemental products. They appear to have a solid reputation and have been in business for a very long time. This company appears to be a good choice for either individual or group insurance needs.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

9 Comments

  1. I paid $99.00 a month since March of 2016 and made my first dental claim this year, 2020 for $181.00 and was denied twice over minor issues.

    On the third refiling, the amount to paid by Ameritas is $3.00, I have paid this company just $50.00 short of $5,000, for a fee for dental service.

    I really never had to use this Dental insurance because I had my army tri-care dental insurance and my employer’s dental plan until I retired at the end of 2018.

    I took it out to have my granddaughter on this insurance. Ameritas is a bad insurance company.

    I myself won’t mind if my email is posted, I wouldn’t mind if a gun-slinging lawyer contact me if they think we have a chance in court with this company.

    Reply
  2. Ameritas is an Insurance scam company. Pay your insurance and they reject claims.

    Teeth cleaning in July 2018. Got a bill 8 months later from the dental office saying they won’t pay the claim.

    Asked insurance company why and they said dental office didn’t send claim off within 90 days.

    Dental office records show that they rejected because the person wasn’t on file…

    Just take them to small claims court to get your money out of them.

    Do not pick this company to be insured. They are Terrible

    Reply
  3. Don’t recommend this company because they want to get money from you but are not sincere in their efforts.

    If you have scheduled automatic payments, they will not cancel unless you actively call them.

    I wasted a couple of thousand of dollars. Thumbs down. Get Delta Dental instead.

    Reply
  4. I am now 1200 in debt because of what they said they will cover .do not use this insurance they are not paying any of my claims at all

    Reply
  5. Don’t deal with Ameritas. They’ll have their reps arrive in person like lightning when you’re interested in signing up. But try to get paid and it’s like pulling teeth… you’ll have a long wait. They suck.

    Reply
  6. I recently signed up for Ameritas dental insurance. This company has been HORRIBLE to work with. They refuse to pay any of my claims if they are more than $100.00. I was told when I signed up there was not a waiting period for claims for crowns or more extensive dental work. What they failed to tell me is that they find every reason they can to deny the claims. I have submitted an appeal for a crown but again that was denied. Don’t waste your money with this company.

    Reply
    • I just found that out myself.

      It’s a joke. Save your money and go elsewhere.

      Reply
  7. Signed on with Ameritas for dental insurance through the marketplace back when Obama ruined everything with health insurance. They have a tier system each year you get more for your benefit plan. It starts at 10% for the first year, 25% for the second year, 60% for the third year and 80% in the fourth. Everything was fine the first three years. Cut to the fourth year, I didn’t realize it had been a year since I last used it? I lost my mom due to pancreatic cancer between taking care of her, losing her then falling into a depression which quite frankly I’m still very much in, I lost track of myself. I go back to the dentist this year and just opened my claim only to find out I’m back at Tier 1??? Nobody ever informed me that if I didn’t use it in a year you automatically go back to point A. I paid my dues for 4 years I am so beyond angry I’m in tears. I called to tell them my situation, the first lady was nice and sympathetic to my situation and gave me a number to call. Call that number and the lady who answered was the most unsympathetic non-helpful person I’ve ever dealt with. Telling me there’s nothing they could do. Telling me they encourage you to look at your benefits online. REALLY?? Nobody encouraged me to do anything. SO UNFAIR. What would have been fair is if they would have said okay ma’am I’m sorry for your loss, we’ll make a note in your file and keep you in your 4th tier. I’m going to try to speak to somebody higher up and if this still doesn’t get rectified, I will be telling EVERYONE the truth about this company.

    Reply
  8. Good morning I read your information thank you. 21 years ago my mom passed in 1997 in May. I just now found out who her life ins policy was with Ameritus I found out at the time of death it wasn’t enforced? She passed in the Philippine Islands. How I found out who her policy was with was through the help from Department of Financial Services'(DFS) Lost Policy Finder Service. I’m still not convinced about their answers they have given me. What kinds of questions can I ask Ameritus myself regarding my moms policy? Like when did Ameritus receive their last payment from her, from what to what did it cover? I have Ameritus’s customer email that DFS gave me.. Please advise thank you
    E P Sucro

    Reply

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