How Does AFLAC Work?

by Larry Davis, Demand Media
    AFLAC is a supplemental insurance for accidents and various situations.

    AFLAC is a supplemental insurance for accidents and various situations.

    "AFLAC!" It's difficult to suppress a smile at the commercial featuring a duck squawking the name of this insurance company or performing a rap song to tell viewers about the benefits of this supplemental insurance. The Columbus, Georgia-based company was started by three brothers in 1955 and now has over 50 million policy holders. The American Family Life Assurance Company's different types of insurance are designed to give customers monetary help in addition to policies that merely pay for only specific items. Many types of policies are available through a workplace plan that deducts the fees from paychecks before taxes are figured, or individuals can purchase a policy from an agent.

    Accidents

    Accidents happen. Whether you or a family member has a minor or serious accident, you can claim on your AFLAC policy. The company will pay you directly to enable you to pay for any expenses not covered by medical insurance or to use the money as you wish. The seriousness of the accident and the ensuing treatment will determine how much money you will receive for your claim.

    Hospital Stays

    Hospital stays, diagnostic tests and surgeries often leave an individual or family with costs to cover even after the medical insurance has been paid. You can file a claim for hospital stays due to illness, surgery or an accident. The length of stay in the hospital determines how much you will receive, with larger amounts typically paid for the first few days. You are free to use the AFLAC payout for medical or your living expenses as you wish.

    Cancer

    Depending on the type of AFLAC cancer policy you carry, you can receive a lump sum or spread-out payments. The lump sum payment amount will depend on your policy limits, but can be used to help with medical costs not covered by a medical policy. The payment-based plan allows you to claim periodically throughout the treatment for yourself or a family member. A larger amount is often paid upon the initial cancer diagnosis, then smaller amounts throughout the duration of the illness.

    Critical Illness

    A critical medical situation, such as stroke, heart attack, coma, transplant surgery and other life-threatening events, is typically not fully paid for by major medical insurances. AFLAC customers can choose a lump-sum payment policy or one that pays out as treatment continues. You will receive the payments to use for extra medical, travel or household expenses as you choose.

    Vision and Dental

    AFLAC vision insurance and dental insurance pay out according to the policy you purchase. Coverage for both types of insurance gives you your choice of providers. Dental insurance allows you more visits to your dentist per year and also covers long-term dental care. With vision coverage, you can claim more serious eye problems, such as eye diseases and surgeries. You can even receive a lump sum amount for permanent eyesight impairment.

    Disability

    Choose a short-term disability policy that fits your needs and budget. To determine the appropriate policy, consider the size of payouts you would need to cover your monthly budget, including ample overage to cover unexpected expenses. Balance that amount against the monthly payments you can afford.

    Life Insurance

    You can purchase a life insurance policy for yourself, your spouse or even for your juvenile children. Term life insurance carries through a certain number of years, while whole life insurance remains in place as long as the premiums are paid or the client is deceased. Juvenile life insurance lasts until the child reaches the age of 18 or 25. This insurance can also be converted to an adult policy at age 18 or 25, at which time the benefit amount will typically double.

    About the Author

    Larry Davis has worked in the safety and environmental field since 1975, writing for "Chevron Review" and other professional magazines. He wrote monthly columns for "Heavy Equipment News" and has written safety programs and training materials. He holds two bachelor's degrees, a master's degree in safety and earned his doctorate in safety engineering, studying under professors from the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University.

    Photo Credits

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