Picture this: you’re sitting in your front room watching the game and, you guessed it, another commercial came on. Only this commercial is different; it stars a duck that often finds itself stuck in peculiar situations and keeps screaming “Aflac”. Did that strike a few cords? I’m guessing it did: let’s be honest, we all know the Aflac duck!
The Aflac duck is arguably more recognizable than most Hollywood celebrities, but have you ever taken the time to understand what Aflac really is? Most people wonder if Aflac is health insurance. Well let’s clear the air for you. Aflac is NOT health insurance, rather Aflac offers supplemental insurance.
So what is supplemental insurance? In short, supplemental insurance is insurance that helps you pay your medical bills in the case of a covered injury or illness; it’s insurance that is paid directly to the policyholder (yourself) rather than to healthcare providers.
While most health insurance companies do a terrific job of covering the lion’s share of the cost of a hospital visit, the policyholder typically has to pay some amount of money out of pocket, such as deductibles and co-pays.
Here’s how supplemental insurance works. Let’s say that you are a professional bartender who has joined a summer softball league. One day during the middle of a heated game, you are running the bases, slip and completely roll your ankle; needless to say you’re in pain, a lot of pain.
You try brush off the pain but your ankle is swelling and it’s not getting better anytime soon.
Grudgingly, you let your friend drive you to the doctor where you learn that your ankle is sprained and you’re going to miss 4 weeks of work; what are you going to do to earn cash?
Fortunately, you are an informed, responsible consumer and prior to your accident you read an article or two about short-term disability supplemental insurance and decided to take a policy out with Aflac. In this situation, all you would have to do is file a claim and receive money.
Basically, supplemental insurance pays you money that you can use when you need it the most. It’s insurance that pays you, instead of the hospital.
The most common forms of supplemental insurance policies include loss of income benefits for situations including accidents, cancer, critical illnesses, and short-term disability, as well as life, dental and vision insurance.
Do You Need Supplemental Insurance?
To start, you’re going to want to examine your current health insurance policy and find areas where you are at risk.
For example, health insurance can exclude certain types of surgeries and only offer a shallow blanket of coverage for others. There might also be risks with your lifestyle that your health insurance won’t cover.
From there, do your research on the available supplemental insurance plans made available to you in your area. Take time to consider the benefits of the plans and what qualifications need to be met for you to actually use the benefits.
Finally, consider your financial situation. You need to be able to determine if you can even afford supplemental insurance.
Supplemental insurance is simply an extra layer of protection and can be used in addition to any major medical plan – or even without a major medical plan; it’s up to you to decide if you need it!