No matter how large of an employer you are, creating a benefits plan can be tricky—especially when it comes to insurance. There are so many types to choose from, each promising different benefits for what seems like overlapping coverage, and it can become cumbersome. Fast.
But understanding the basics makes the process more efficient and effective. Knowing the difference between health insurance and supplemental insurance will help you do just that.
What does health insurance cover?
Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that helps pay for health and medical expenses. Depending on the plan and the care provided, it may cover all or a portion of routine checkups, emergency care, surgeries, treatment for chronic illnesses and more.1,2 Whether a carrier makes payments directly to the provider or reimburses people who are insured once they pay out-of-pocket depends on the plan.1 For many employers, offering health insurance isn’t optional. As of 2014, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees are required to offer health insurance in accordance with the Affordable Care Act3—part of why more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans have been insured since the Act’s introduction.4
What is supplemental insurance and what does it help cover?
In contrast, supplemental insurance is exactly what its name implies—supplemental. And what is it supplementing? Health insurance ... plus dental, vision and any other insurance you can think of. If health insurance is the steak and potatoes, supplemental insurance is the wine and dinner rolls—not the core of the meal, but offerings that enhance it and help it feel more complete. Depending on the specific plan, supplemental insurance can help you close the gap between what health insurance covers and what you’re responsible for paying out-of-pocket. And unlike health insurance, some types of supplemental insurance can also help with expenses that aren’t directly related to medical care. Paying benefits directly to the insured (unless assigned otherwise) to use as they see fit, Aflac’s supplemental insurance can help people cover expenses such as transportation to and from treatments, lodging and other nonmedical expenses incurred because of the need for care.
Health insurance has its limits—and supplemental insurance helps you level up
Enter supplemental insurance.
It’s not trying to replace health insurance. And it’s not trying to step in for dental and vision coverage either. Instead, it’s a booster for your employees’ existing coverage, helping fill in gaps where their other forms of insurance may leave them vulnerable. Supplemental coverage can give people more robust protection than what health insurance gives alone.
And it’s not just your employees who have additional protection with supplemental insurance. In a recent survey of 1,200 business decision-makers such as yourself, 50% said that offering supplemental insurance helps them recruit employees, and 60% said it helps them retain employees. Additionally, in a recent survey of over 2,000 employees, 70% of those enrolled in supplemental insurance said they are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits package—a difference of 28 percentage points from those who are not offered the plans.5
Some things just go together—hands and gloves, pen and paper, burgers and fries. Health insurance and supplemental insurance are one of those combos.
Companies choose to make Aflac policies available to increase benefits options without impacting their bottom line.
1 Medical News Today. “What is health insurance?” Updated 6.6.2021. Accessed 9.2.2021.
2 Bankrate. “What is health insurance?” Accessed 9.2.2021.
3 Verywell Health. “How Obamacare Changed Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance.” Updated 2.21.2021. Accessed 9.2.2021.
4 CNBC. “How the Affordable Care Act transformed our health-care system.” Updated 12.29.2019. Accessed 9.2.2021.
5 Aflac. “Aflac WorkForces Report: Workplace Benefits Trends Executive Summary.” Published September 2020. Accessed 9.2.2021.
This is a brief product overview only. Coverage may not be available in all states. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on plan selected. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. Policies and riders may also contain a waiting period. Refer to the exact policies and riders for benefit details, definitions, limitations and exclusions. For availability and costs, please contact your local Aflac agent/producer.
Aflac dental and vision insurance coverage from the 2020 pilot launch is underwritten by National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL). National Guardian Life Insurance Company is not a member of the Aflac family of insurers. National Guardian Life Insurance Company is not affiliated with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America a/k/a The Guardian or Guardian Life. Aflac dental and vision products may not be available in all states. National Guardian Life Insurance Company | Madison, WI.
For all states that have approved the Aflac dental and vision insurance products, coverage will be underwritten by Aflac. In New York, coverage will be underwritten by Aflac New York.
Aflac WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999.
Please see coverage documentation applicable to your situs state for further details. State references refer to the state of your group.
Benefits and/or premiums may vary based on the state and benefit option selected. The plan has limitations and exclusions that may affect benefits payable. Refer to the policy and certificate for complete benefit details, definitions, limitations and exclusions. This is a brief description of coverage and is not a contract. Read your certificate carefully for exact terms and conditions as well as a complete list of the schedule of dental procedures payable under the plan.
Notice to Consumer: This is a limited benefit plan and provides dental benefits only. Aflac’s contracts of insurance, including Aflac’s network dental and vision plans, provide limited-scope and/or supplemental benefits only and do not constitute comprehensive health insurance coverage. Aflac’s contracts of insurance do not satisfy the requirement of minimum essential coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are not designed to meet any of the essential health benefit requirements mandated by the ACA or federal law, including pediatric oral or vision care services. Aflac’s contracts of insurance are not an alternative to, or a substitute for, comprehensive health insurance coverage and should only be used to supplement comprehensive health insurance coverage.
Individual Supplemental insurance coverage is underwritten by Aflac. Group Supplemental insurance coverage is underwritten by Continental American Insurance Company (CAIC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aflac Incorporated. CAIC is not licensed to solicit business in New York, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. For groups sitused in California, group coverage is underwritten by Continental American Life Insurance Company. For individual coverage in New York or coverage for groups sitused in New York, coverage is underwritten by Aflac New York. WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999. Continental American Insurance Company | Columbia, South Carolina. Plans and availability vary by state.
WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999