Elimination Period

Published: | Updated: September 2, 2017

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Definition - What does Elimination Period mean?

An elimination period refers to the duration of time starting from the time an injury or illness commences to the time the insurance company provides the relevant benefit payments to the policyholder. Elimination periods usually range from 30 to 365 days, depending on the type of policy. This period is a common feature in long-term insurance and disability insurance. During the elimination period, the policyholder bears the entire responsibility for paying for the expenses needed for treating the illness or injury.

People also refer to an elimination period as a waiting period or a qualifying period.

Insuranceopedia explains Elimination Period

In many insurance policies, insurance companies usually specify that policyholders need to qualify for the elimination period before the insurance company pays any benefits. Oftentimes, this elimination period serves as the deductible on the policy.

Therefore, instead of paying a specific amount of money for required care, the policyholder declares a specific number of days during which the policyholder would pay for all care-related expenses. Once this duration concludes, the insurance company would start paying out the benefits associated with the policy, as long as the policyholder is still injured, ill or disabled at that specific point in time.

Elimination periods usually have an inverse relationship with insurance premiums. For instance, the shorter the elimination period, the higher the premium will be. Similarly, the longer the elimination period, the lower the premium will be. This is why the elimination period bears a close resemblance to a deductible in an insurance policy.

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