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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.
The rulebook on health care may have changed, but with insurance through your employer, you’re already ahead of the game. The law requires most individuals to have qualifying health coverage (QHC), so being enrolled in a job-based plan helps you meet this requirement. Still, there are a few details you’ll want to understand to make sure your plan fits your coverage needs and your budget.
Additionally, you may qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. To learn more, visit medicare.gov.
1. Request a notice of coverage options from your employer.
Most employers are now required to communicate to employees about health care coverage options, including those offered by the company and those available through your state. Most employers either provided this notice before Oct. 1, 2013 or within 14 days of hire, but if you haven’t received one yet, it isn’t too late. The notice will include information about whether your job-based benefits meet health care reform standards and if you may be eligible for premium subsidies in the individual market.
2. Maintain compliant coverage.
Whether you keep your current job-based plan or purchase a plan through a private insurer or government-facilitated marketplace, be sure to get your questions fully answered during benefits enrollment, and choose the plan that fits your coverage needs and your budget.
3. Plan for out-of-pocket costs.
Don’t let the unexpected take you out of the game. Take advantage of voluntary insurance options, flexible spending accounts and any other benefits your employer offers to help cover out-of-pocket costs not covered by major medical insurance. To learn more about voluntary insurance, visit aflac.com/individuals.
To learn more about the health care reform, visit: aflac.com/healthcare_reform/individuals, healthcare.gov or irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions-for-Individuals-and-Families.
1 The Commonwealth Fund (2015). The Rise in Health Care Coverage and Affordability Since Health Reform Took Effect Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014, .published January 2015, accessed Oct. 12, 2015. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publications/issue-brief/2015/jan/1800_collins_biennial_survey_brief.pdf.
This material is intended to provide general information about an evolving topic and does not constitute legal, tax or accounting advice regarding any specific situation. Aflac cannot anticipate all the facts that a particular employer or individual will have to consider in their benefits decision-making process. We strongly encourage readers to discuss their HCR situations with their advisors to determine the actions they need to take or to visit healthcare.gov (which may also be contacted at 1-800-318-2596) for additional information.