Help for those affected by the hurricanes | Learn More

A message from Aflac

To our policyholders in areas affected by the recent hurricanes, please know that the thoughts and prayers of everyone at Aflac are with you. We are working with government agencies that represent all declared disaster areas to ensure we do everything possible to help you. Based on that guidance, we have extended the due dates for policy premiums by 60 days for those living in places that have been declared disaster areas. If you have a question about your policy or need help, contact us at 800-992-3522. To help with the recovery, Aflac made a $500,000 donation to the American Red Cross, and our employees are making their own private contributions. Please be safe, as the care of you and your families is paramount.


For existing account servicing call: 800.992.3522

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The toolkit

We understand that time is of the essence for busy small-business owners. To help, we’ve assembled this toolkit with guides, how-tos and next steps regarding your company’s benefits offerings – all in one place.

Open Enrollment

With federal marketplace enrollment beginning November 1, it’s a great time to evaluate your available benefits choices based on your business and employee needs.


Simplifying benefits terminology

Insurance can be an overwhelming topic. Because your company’s benefits package is critical to your employees’ happiness and well-being, this glossary breaks down key terms you need to know.


  • 1.

    Ancillary vs. voluntary benefits

    Ancillary benefits are primarily those most known and requested by employees in addition to employer-sponsored health plans. These can include group dental, group vision and group life insurance, as well as employer-paid short- or long-term disability.

    Voluntary benefits are benefits that, in addition to those which an employer sponsors, are offered to employees who can choose to pay for them on their own via payroll deductions. Voluntary benefits cover an array of categories (pretax deductions for qualified expenses, theft protection, health benefits such as employee-paid dental, etc.), but the health benefit categories often include insurance for critical illnesses, cancer and accidents, among others.

  • 2.


    Short for “benefits administration technology,” ben-admin is used in the industry to refer to benefits management – establishing, offering, and maintaining the benefits packages offered to employees. Because this can be difficult for companies of all sizes, the technology and software industries have developed multiple services and electronic tools to help businesses with this task. HR solutions companies, brokers and insurers have all developed some level of solution, which vary in capacity and cost to employers.

  • 3.

    Broker vs. career agent

    A broker is a representative who ‘shops’ for the customer from as many insurance companies he or she chooses to. An agent, on the other hand, can be captive (exclusively representing one company or the partner products authorized by their company) or independent (able to act as a shopper for clients).

  • 4.

    Core benefits

    Core benefits, sometimes referred to as basic benefits, may often vary from employer to employer. While some may only include a health plan as a core benefit, other employers may refer to their core benefits as health, dental, vision and life insurance.

  • 5.

    Enrollment platform

    This technology eases the difficulty of open enrollment and keeps track of employees’ benefits selections. The industry has started to combine ben-admin and enrollment capabilities into single platforms, which vary in capabilities, reliability and cost.

  • 6.

    Group vs. individual underwriting

    Group underwriting is designed for companies who want to leverage the power of headcount, spreading risk for the insurance company. This usually makes it easier for all employees to get insured, whether it is in the form of lower rates or simply being able to obtain coverage an individual wouldn’t be able to get independent of the group.

    Individual underwriting should always be considered because it tends to favor smaller groups, especially the ones skewing younger and healthier. There’s no clear better option as both platforms have developed competitive features, meaning a small business should always check all options.

  • 7.


    This implies that coverage is guaranteed without questions. Most guaranteed-issued clauses come with specific requirements or specific limitations, which vary from insurer to insurer.

  • 8.


    This means that as long as premiums are paid, the insurer cannot drop the covered person. If you pair guaranteed-renewability with rate stability, this is a very favorable combination for employees.

  • 9.

    Minimum participation requirements

    This sets a condition or requirement to issue desired coverage. Whether it’s a condition for a lower rate, or simply qualification for a specific product or product feature, a group may be asked to have a minimum number or percentage of committed participants enroll in it.

  • 10.


    Underwriting is how insurers assess whether or not they are willing to take on the risk of insuring an individual or a group of people and can include questioning or medical examinations. When terms like “minimum” or “simplified” underwriting are used, it means there will be a lower number of questions or steps to qualify for insurability.

For additional information on voluntary insurance, including how it can help protect your employees from unexpected accidents and illnesses, visit the Aflac Voluntary insurance 101 for businesses.

As your business grows and your employees’ needs evolve, benefits offerings will need to be adjusted accordingly. Follow these tips to ensure your plan continues to provide maximum benefit to your valuable employees.

Download PDF

Tips for managing benefits offerings over time

As your business grows and your employees’ needs evolve, benefits offerings will need to be adjusted accordingly. Follow these tips to ensure your plan continues to provide maximum benefit to your valuable employees.

Download PDF
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Voluntary Insurance 101

This downloadable booklet addresses commonly asked questions about the importance of voluntary insurance, who needs these policies and what is covered in them.

Voluntary Insurance 101

This downloadable booklet addresses commonly asked questions about the importance of voluntary insurance, who needs these policies and what is covered in them.

Next Steps: You've decided your employees need supplemental insurance, now what?

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Decide who will be offered benefits.

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Determine the types of coverage that will be offered.

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Ensure employees are educated, engaged and excited about the new offerings.

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Continue to manage benefits offerings over time.

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Explaining supplemental benefits to your employees

This list of frequently asked questions is here to help you and your employees navigate the voluntary benefits sphere.

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Small-business HR mistakes to avoid

Running a small business is no easy feat. Here are some common mistakes small-business owners make regarding benefits offerings – and ways to avoid them.

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What you need to get done and when

Discover key deadlines you should be aware of in planning and managing voluntary benefits offerings.