Accidents happen; that’s why they’re called accidents. And they can happen to anyone at any time, resulting in everything from a broken arm to a broken back – or worse. The sobering fact is that a disabling injury takes place every second in the United States.1
After a serious injury occurs, most people immediately focus on treatment and recovery. However, once the initial shock wears off, their thoughts may turn to finances. While major medical insurance may pay some doctor, lab, pharmacy and hospital costs, most people are left with out-of-pocket expenses. These may include expenses that aren’t covered by major medical insurance and bills stemming from a temporary loss of income. Fortunately, accident insurance can help fill the financial void.
A real-life experience
On July 24 2014, my wife and I were six days into an eight-day motorcycle trip. We both rode our own motorcycles and had shared a wonderful week together traveling through Idaho, Oregon and California. At 11:09 a.m., my wife lost control of her motorcycle on a corner, crossed the center line and sideswiped a logging truck. That moment changed our lives. She incurred both physical damage and a traumatic brain injury, but she survived. She spent days in a coma, weeks in intensive care, months living at in-patient medical rehabilitation facilities and continues her recovery in outpatient therapy.
We had major medical insurance to help with the majority of the medical bills and transportation costs. Our liquid assets were quickly consumed by out-of-pocket expenses, copays, coinsurance, etc.
Several weeks after the accident, it dawned on me that I had Aflac. By that time, my wife had over 4,000 pages of medical records related to the accident. My Aflac agent promptly engaged the claims expert in her office to assist.
Three days later, I had a direct deposit in my account that caught us up and continues to give me the assistance to help provide home care for my wife. As additional claims were submitted, these were handled just as expeditiously.
As if the accident and injuries were not enough, the financial burden of an unexpected accident such as this became as difficult to bear as my wife’s injuries. I thought I was looking at catastrophic financial loss and the decisions that come with that. However, for just a few dollars a pay period and an email and call to my agent, the financial burden has been relieved.
I honestly don’t know what we would have done if it were not for Aflac. I can’t say enough good things about this company and counsel my co-workers to apply.
Voluntary accident insurance helps employees cope with out-of-pocket costs associated with serious accidents or illnesses — costs major medical insurance was never intended to pay. In the event of a covered incident, accident insurance provides cash benefits that can be used in any way they see fit (unless otherwise assigned). It helps workers and their families stay ahead of the medical and out-of-pocket expenses that add up so quickly after an injury, including treatment-related costs and everyday bills that continue to roll in. Depending upon the policy, accident insurance pays a specific benefit amount for:
In addition, some policyholders may select an optional accidental death benefit rider, which pays a lump-sum death benefit for covered common-carrier accidents and other accidents.
It’s important to note that health exams aren’t required to qualify for voluntary accident insurance. If an employer offers a voluntary accident plan, workers may receive payroll rates and have premiums deducted from their paychecks.
Unlike some insurance policies that may be more appropriate for certain age groups or at-risk individuals, voluntary accident coverage may be beneficial to most employees because it helps provide financial protection from accidents they can’t afford.
Voluntary accident coverage helps provide financial confidence for workers and their families. Even those with comprehensive major medical plans in place will find that out-of-pocket costs stemming from an accidental injury can be substantial. In fact, 53 percent of workers would need to borrow from a 401(k) and/or use a credit card to cover unexpected medical costs.2
Even the most minor of accidents, such as a broken arm, can lead to temporary loss of income and inability to pay normal living expenses. Regular bills, including the mortgage or rent, car payments and utility bills, don’t stop when an individual is laid up after an injury. The protection accident insurance helps provide allows policyholders and their families to focus on recovery – not on finances.
1Himmelstein, D.U., Thorne, D., Warren E. and Woolhandler, S. (2009), Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study, The American Journal of Medicine, accessed on September 9, 2012, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/american_journal_of_medicine_09.pd
2Critical Care and Recovery Quantitative Study LRW and Aflac, December 2013.