Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Amalgamated Life vs USAble Life Insurance Company

You’re evaluating both Amalgamated Life and USAble Life as potential providers of insurance products for your company, so you need to know what sets one company apart from the other. Which one has been around longer? Does one of them provide a wider range of products than the other? Is one more suited to insure your specific employee group?

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Both of these providers are well rated and geared to provide good products at a high level of service. One has been around significantly longer, while the other has a wider range of products to offer.

A Look at Amalgamated Life

Amalgamated Life offers almost 70 years of experience in providing insurance packages to unionized employee groups throughout the country.

The company carries an A rating—the best possible—from the American Accreditation Health Care Commission/URAC (formerly known as the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission). Products are made available by the labor group’s management team, the union benefits office or the human resources department.

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Life Insurance for Employees

To provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing the future is secure for a member’s family if something happens to him, life coverage products offer these solutions:

  • Basic group life insurance products: Term coverage offers a wide range of payable benefit amounts available.
  • Spousal and dependent coverage: The spouse is eligible for coverage up to 50% of the member’s coverage not to exceed $100,000. Children can be covered at amounts up to $4,000.
  • Increased benefit payout.
  • Retiree coverage: Not exceeding 10% of the covered group provides additional life insurance benefits.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment: In the event of accidental severe injury, paralysis, and even death.

Medical Stop Loss for Employers

When an insured member’s medical expenses reach a specified maximum limit, or if high amounts of medical policy use occur within the group, it’s wise to have additional coverage in place that “stops loss.” That’s what policies like these do.

Flexible stop loss options include 12/12, 12/15, 15/12, etc., which refer to the number of months in the policy year versus the number of months in which they are paid.

The 12/12 option would be the least expensive plan for the employer or union group; 15/12 would be the most expensive.

Specific ad aggregate policies are available. Specific stop loss ranges up to $5 million for protection from excessive individual claims. Aggregate stop loss offers the industry standard of $1 million to protect the employer from excessive catastrophic loss of multiple covered members.

Both specific and aggregate policies offer extensions. Policies comply with Taft Hartley Act and timely claim adjudication is guaranteed.

Disability InsuranceAmalgamated Life vs USAble Life Insurance Company Disability

Groups can elect to offer both short-term and long-term disability policies.  The employer group can decide whether to offer this as a paid benefit to its members or to offer it as a voluntary benefit payable by members. Short-term covers incidents of up to 2 years’ duration. Long-term protects a member for 5 years.

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Voluntary Add-On Products

Many groups decide to make available optional products. In most cases these are paid 100% by participating members. Making them available depends entirely on the interests of the group’s benefits coordinator:

Two separate term life options are available. Basic term life insurance has options for decreasing payout as age increases. Level term, on the other hand, guarantees the same benefit no matter when payout occurs. Children’s term benefits are optional.

Critical illness protection steps in when the member is diagnosed with cancer, heart attack, stroke, paralysis, coma, kidney failure, or organ transplant. This benefit can also be available for non-specified hospitalizations of at least 30 days. If the member utilizes this benefit, his eligible life insurance will not be payable until two years after he returns to work and his life insurance benefit will be reduced by the amount of the critical illness protection.

Available Products from USAble Life

With options for all types of employers and large groups, USAble Life is a newer company than Amalgamated Life. Nevertheless it likewise boasts strong performance ratings over the course of 30 years, with top ratings by Ward’s Group (an insurance benchmarking company) and Standard and Poor’s.

It was also listed among the top 25 life insurance companies in Best’s Review (a credit rating company for the insurance industry). Its product variety is wide and flexible.

A Look at USAble’s Life Insurance Policies

Like Amalgamated, this provider offer group term life insurance coverage.

Amalgamated Life vs USAble Life Insurance Co

  • Group term options: Include products that are 100% payable by the employer and 75% with employee contribution.
  • Accelerated death benefits: Allow employees to access their life insurance benefits prior to death in order to pay necessary medical expenses. This option helps people with long-term illnesses such as cancer or AIDS and reduces the benefit payable at time of death. See a primer on long-term care insurance here.
  • Spousal insurance up to $5,000 and dependent child coverage up to $2,000 are available.
  • Conversion privileges: These let employees elect to continue coverage even if they have been struck by catastrophic illness. If the employee dies, his dependents can also convert. This ElderCare link discusses when it is and is not a good idea to covert a life insurance policy.
  • Waiver of premium: This occurs if disability of at least 6 months’ duration occurs before age 60. The life insurance policy will remain in effect with premiums waived up to age 65.

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USAble Offers Group Medical Plans

USAble presents a full platter of health insurance options, unlike Amalgamated Life. When choosing between Amalgamated Life and USAble Life, it’s a good idea to compare only what both companies offer.

However, if Amalgamated’s plans and prices are more appealing to the employer that’s buying coverage for his employees, then he can always opt for a health-only plan with another company. Nevertheless, details of USAble’s medical insurance options are below.

USAble’s Life Connect PPO (preferred provider organization) offers health care to covered members who stay within USAble’s network of providers.

Out-of-network coverage is available for employees who seek care outside of the network, reimbursable at a lower percentage. For example, services with an in-network provider might be payable at 80%; if the employee goes to an out-of-network provider, coverage drops to 60%.

As with many health plans, the employer can modify the plan offered with co-pays, deductible, and co-insurance percentages appropriate for his employee demographic. Wellness procedures are covered. A pharmacy program structures co-pays according to the employee’s choice of generic versus formulary drugs and also monitors prescription use to avoid interactions or failure to use medications correctly.

An employer can elect to provide a cafeteria plan, in which the employee chooses from the benefits selected by the employer. Employees’ premiums are paid with pre-tax dollars. These options include electable plans for dental plus the electable options described in the section below.

USAble also offers the structure of flexible spending plans.

There is also a high deductible health plan (HDHP)  that keeps the premium low for both employer and employee, suitable for people who will use their plan very little or possibly very much. People with moderate health insurance needs are not good candidates for HDHPs. This option is very attractive to employers because their associated costs are deductible as business expenses rather than lumped in with the various salary categories.

Disability Plans

Both short- and long-term disability coverage options protect the individual employee against catastrophe. Employers can design the plan with the length of Amalgamated Life vs USAble Life Insurancetime until disability pays as well as the percentage of base salary that will pay in the event of disability.

This is limited to 70% for short-term disability, with a maximum of $1,500 weekly with employer groups of over 100. Long-term can be set to pay up to two-thirds of the employee’s salary, up to $6,000 per month.

Accident and Accidental Death

USAble offers standard Accidental Death and Dismemberment plans. Benefits are very similar to those available with Amalgamated. There is also a voluntary accident rider that’s different from the ADD policies; it pays benefits in the event of death in a common carrier, such as planes or trains but excluding taxis, with specific additional benefits attached to this electable coverage.

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Electable Options

Besides the accident policy described above, USAble also offers specific riders such as CancerCare Elite, CriticalCare Elite and Hospital Indemnity. If the employer wants other options, it’s worth querying USAble directly about other products; a rider covering heart attacks, for example, is included in the cafeteria plans.

Which Company Should You Choose?

Amalgamated Life vs USAble Life

Both companies offer years of experience as well as the expertise that comes along with that. Both companies carry high ratings within the industry. With Amalgamated Life, the employer will have to look elsewhere for medical coverage. USAble carries a full slate of products including medical.

Ultimately, the buyer must remember that Amalgamated serves organized labor groups primarily, and USAble serves large employers and also other types of groups. The choice is yours.

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