Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite in the United States, is making it even easier for customers to access much-needed financial support while they are in the hospital.
Among the enhanced customization options, the new Aflac Choice hospital policy features an industry-first benefit: the Initial Assistance Benefit. Most times, hospital visits are unplanned, and you may not be prepared for the immediate expenses that may pop up, such as hospital parking, meals for your family or babysitters. And it can sometimes take weeks for hospitals to send the necessary paperwork to file claims. That’s where this benefit delivers – payments are made directly to the insured when first admitted to the hospital, even if it’s for less than 24 hours – with just a simple signature from the physician.
For small businesses, balancing benefits value and cost containment is a constant challenge. Aflac Choice is available at no direct cost to the employer and helps alleviate medical and daily living expenses that can negatively impact employee morale and productivity. And because the base plan is guaranteed issue, any employee who applies for coverage can get it – so there’s no pressure to make sure a specific number of employees participate in order for all to qualify for coverage.
Major medical insurance is designed to cover everything from a stomach bug to appendicitis, as well as other illnesses and injuries that can result in a hospital visit. However, even people who have major medical coverage often forget to consider that their insurance may not cover the total financial impact of an unexpected hospital stay, which, on average, lasts 4.6 days and costs $11,000.1 These unforeseen costs can overwhelm employees, causing a ripple effect of challenges that may force them to choose between paying bills not covered by health insurance and paying for day-to-day needs, like transportation or child care. Intended to help employees supplement their existing major medical coverage, Aflac Choice helps provide financial peace of mind by paying a set amount directly to the insured, unless otherwise assigned, helping employees keep their lifestyles intact and focus on recovery, not on bills.
Aflac Choice has a more simplified base plan design and higher benefits for inpatient rehabilitation facility care, short hospital stays and emergency room visits than previously available, allowing policyholders to customize their coverage to their specific needs and the needs of their families:
— Hospital Stay and Surgical Care Rider: This rider includes the Initial Assistance Benefit, which pays a covered person $100 once per calendar year as soon as they are admitted to the hospital. It also offers benefits for second surgical opinions.
— Extended Benefits Rider: This rider provides additional financial protection through a physician visit benefit, which now covers psychologist visits, acute/urgent care and telemedicine. With telemedicine, policyholders can save valuable time by choosing where to consult with a doctor – whether it’s from home, work or on the go.
The base plan and Extended Benefits Rider are guaranteed issue, meaning they are available to any eligible employee regardless of medical history. And with no participation requirements, any employee who applies for coverage can receive it.
Aflac Choice is currently available in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas. The company intends to introduce Aflac Choice in additional states across the country throughout 2017. To determine when it will be available in your state and to learn more about Aflac Choice, please visit aflac.com/hospital/