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stethoscope on moneyIf you’ve ever experienced an injury or illness requiring a hospital stay, you know just how expensive it can be – even after major medical insurance pays its share. Hospital inpatient care accounts for nearly one-third of U.S health care costs, and there’s no relief in sight: The average length of a hospital stay is 4.5 days at an average cost of $10,400 per stay.1

The sky-high cost of hospitalization is driving a growing need for voluntary hospital indemnity insurance.

What is hospital indemnity insurance?

A voluntary hospital indemnity insurance policy is one of many plans employers can make available to help workers cope with costs associated with a hospital stay. These policies help cover costs major medical was never intended to pay. In the event of hospitalization, participants receive cash benefits that can be used to help pay daily living expenses, such as rent, gas, groceries, utilities and other necessities. Benefits are predetermined and are paid regardless of any other insurance in place. It’s important to note that while some hospital indemnity plans provide only hospitalization benefits, other plans may be more far-reaching and address diagnostic procedures, outpatient surgery and transportation by ambulance.

Hospital indemnity insurance is becoming more popular as employers implement consumer driven health care plans. These include high-deductible plans and health savings accounts, or HSAs, which shift more out-of-pocket costs onto workers. Features of hospital indemnity plans may include:

  • No deductibles or copayments.
  • HSA compatibility.
  • No networks, so policyholders can be treated at the hospitals of their choice.
  • No precertification requirements.
  • Portability, which means policyholders can retain their coverage even if they change jobs or retire.

Who needs hospital indemnity insurance?

Generally speaking, all employees are susceptible to injuries or illnesses requiring a hospital stay – which means they’re all candidates for voluntary hospital indemnity insurance. This type of coverage helps give workers confidence that unforeseen difficulties won’t destroy their financial security.

Individuals who are concerned about how they’d pay the bills if they were hospitalized should consider hospital indemnity insurance. Why? Because even the best major medical insurance doesn’t typically cover an entire hospital invoice. For example, there are copayments and deductibles to consider. There are also other factors to think about, such as transportation and meals for family members, help with child care costs and sometimes even lost income. These surprise expenses add up quickly and often force people to dip into their savings or borrow money.

According to the 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report, 65 percent of American workers have less than $1,000 on hand to pay out-of-pocket expenses associated with an unexpected serious illness or accident. What’s more, 56 percent would have to borrow from a 401(k) and/or use a credit card to cover out-of-pocket expenses for an unexpected medical event.2

Just one hospital stay can wreak havoc on an employee’s finances. It’s a simple fact, but it’s one that underscores the importance of hospital indemnity insurance and the financial protection it can help provide.

A real-life experience

Many years ago as a teacher in the in the Harrison County school system, I was offered an opportunity to apply for the Aflac hospital intensive care insurance policy. When I opted to do so, it was with the hope that I would never have to use it. When l retired, I decided to maintain the policy. Fast forward to the present, and I indeed needed this policy due to a heart attack that required a stay in the intensive care unit.

I am thankful that I kept this policy in effect, as it certainly helped me with the out‐of‐pocket costs associated with my care. The policy was a blessing not only in the benefits it provided, but in the manner in which my claim was handled by Aflac. My claim was processed very quickly and efficiently.

My deepest thanks to my outstanding Aflac agent, the Harrison County School Board for making Aflac presentations available to its employees and to Aflac for taking care of those who place their trust in a company that stands behind its principles.

Sincerely,
Mary Malfregeot, West Virginia
Testimonial valid through 8/26/17