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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Emergency Preparedness: How Aflac Can Help

As a mom I always want to be prepared.  I want to protect my children and my family and I want to make sure that no matter what situation arises that we are ready for it! 

Zach's dad has worked for Aflac for over 20 years and Zach decided to follow that same career path as soon as we got married (before he'd even graduated from college!). Being in Aflac we know a lot about supplemental insurance and how important it is. Part of Zach's job is helping people file their claims so we have seen, first hand, how these policies truly have helped people during times of great need. Yes, selling Aflac is Zach's career. It's our livelihood! But it's also a blessing to be able to help others and to provide them with policies that allow them to be prepared for the "what ifs" in this life.

With today being Babywise Blog Network Pinterest Day and our topic being "emergency preparedness" I thought this was the perfect opportunity to share more information about a few of the policies I think are the most important. People typically make sure to have major medical insurance but often don't think about adding supplemental policies. They are very affordable and can make a huge difference if you were to face a tough situation. 

(Yes, this is us with THE Aflac Duck!!! You can read about that experience...and see why Zach is wearing a football jersey...here!)

The difference between supplemental insurance and major medical is that major medical pays the doctors and hospitals...supplemental insurance pays you. If you get in a wreck and go to the hospital, major medical will help cover that bill. But Aflac will send YOU a check and that allows you to use the money to help cover co-pays, expenses while in recovery, help make up for income loss while missing work, etc.

Their policies are awesome because they don't have any deductibles or copays, they don't have a lifetime limit, the don't have any network restrictions (which means you pick whoever you want for your medical care!) and they don't have any coordination of benefits (which means they pay regardless of what other insurance you may have).

Here are three policies I think every family would benefit from owning. Out-of-pocket expenses with tough life situations are unexpected and often burdensome; the event itself may not be able to be prevented, but it's impact on your finances and your well-being can certainly be reduced!

1. Accident: Everyone at some point has some sort of accidental injury and Aflac's accident policy is awesome. It's one that we have personally filed claims on more times than I can count! ANYTHING that isn't a sickness is considered an accident. Pull out your back lifting something heavy? Go to the chiropractor because your Aflac policy will pay! When Britt chipped her tooth...our Accident Policy paid us (And the benefit it paid was actually more than the bill for the dentist was! Score!)

It pays many different benefits from x-rays, to physical therapy, to hospital confinement, to transportation costs, and even family lodging benefits. If someone has an accident and needs to go to a hospital out of your local area isn't it nice to know that up to $125 per night in a hotel stay is going to be covered? How awesome is that?!?! The great thing about the accident policy is that it also has a wellness benefit. Once a year it will pay $60 towards any wellness check-up! I use it to help cover my dental visit each year since we don't have dental insurance :) This policy has an added benefit of accidental death insurance. If death does occur due to an accident then it pays benefits to the family to help cover those expenses.

2. Cancer:  Cancer stats are mega scary. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. And we've all probably seen the toll it's taken on them - physically, emotionally and even financially. We hate to think about it but the stats don't lie. In the US men have a slightly less than 1 in 2 lifetime risk of developing Cancer. And women? Well we have slightly more than a 1in 3 chance.

You hope and pray that you never have to file a cancer claim but if you do, then you will be so thankful to have this policy. My favorite feature is the lump sum benefit. The policy pays $6,000 upon initial cancer diagnosis (which doubles for dependent children). Back in the day when I used to sell Aflac I remember Mrs. Charlotte always calling this the "get and go" money. It allows you to focus fully on beating cancer without having to worry about other costs. When we were worried about Mr. Rusty's potential prostate cancer diagnosis we kept talking about how thankful we all were to have so much knowledge about it and to know they would be financially okay through the fighting process thanks to Aflac. When I hear about children diagnosed with cancer I always hope their parents have this policy as all dependent children are covered for free and many of the benefits are up to doubled for children.

The policy also has benefits payable for hospital stays, radiation, chemo, experimental treatments, surgery, and transportation and lodging as well. I know if I ever battle cancer I want THE BEST treatment possible and will be willing to go as far away from home as needed to get that care...it's so comforting to know that Aflac will give us cash to help cover those costs.

Like the Accident Policy, the Cancer Policy also has a wellness benefit.  The version we personally own pays $75 towards one wellness check-up per person each year. The current policy now pays $100! I use it whenever I have my yearly pap check!

3. Life for Kids: I used to always think having life insurance on children didn't make any sense. Why cover a child? They don't have any income to worry about replacing? They don't own anything where payments may be due? Then I had a few friends experience the loss of their children. I immediately told Zach we had to get life insurance on our babies. Not only to cover funeral costs and such, but especially to cover our income. God forbid we were to ever experience that situation...I would NOT want Zach to have to worry about working. I'd want him to be able to take all the time he needed to grieve and to be with our family while we healed together. A life policy on our child would allow us to have the money we'd need to pay the bills so we could just focus on our grief.

Life insurance for children is extremely affordable. You can purchase either term or whole life. Term covers them for a certain amount of time and whole covers them for their entire lives. We have small Aflac term policies on each child (well we need to get one on Tess!) that will cover them until age 25 when they can then purchase their own life insurance policies.

Aflac has a wide range of policies they offer (from vision, to dental, to intensive care, etc!), but these three are the ones I would highly recommend making sure you have in order to protect your family in times of emergencies. We don't plan for accidents or cancer or surely not death...but when they happen it's such a blessing to have financial support.

While pregnancy is not an emergency, it is something to be prepared for. I always tell people to be sure to purchase a couple Aflac policies prior to getting pregnant. You want to have the policies in place at least a month before trying to conceive! I'm not eligible for short term disability (hello, I don't work haha!) but if you are then that is a wonderful policy to have! Very affordable and will help pay your bills while you are out on maternity leave. I do, however, have the Aflac Hospital Policy. It pays me cash when I'm in the hospital after the baby is born (and is why we always stay 48 hours haha). We get enough money from our Aflac Policies to cover Zach's missed income when he stays home with us in the early newborn days! It's a HUGE blessing to us and is something I try to always tell people about. The amount you get back from the policy when you have a baby more than covers what it costs to own the policy...so who wouldn't want that?!?!

I am far from an "Aflac expert" but my husband is :) If you want more information about these, or any other policies, shoot him an email anytime at zachary_parker@us.aflac.com And if an Aflac Agent comes to your place of business, give them some of your time to learn more about what Aflac has to offer! You never know what the future holds and it's always wise to be prepared!

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