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.

Important details about health care reform for uninsured individuals and families

Whether you’re the picture of health or have your doctor on speed dial, it’s important to understand how health care reform may affect you. If you’re uninsured, you’re not alone. In fact, even with health care reform, more than 11 percent of Americans still don’t have major medical insurance.1 We’ve outlined the key things you need to know and do to be sure you’re covered when you need it most.

What you need to know:

  • Most individuals are now required to have health care coverage.
    Health care reform requires most Americans to have qualifying health coverage (QHC) or pay a penalty. Health plans that qualify include: qualified individual major medical coverage, most job-based major medical coverage, Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), TRICARE and certain other coverage.
  • Fines vary based on each individual’s circumstance.
    Should you decide not to purchase QHC, you may be responsible for a tax penalty known as a shared-responsibility payment. The tax penalty will either be a set dollar amount or the percentage of household income, whichever is greater. The fine is capped at the cost of the national average of a bronze level health insurance plan. See the chart below for details.

The penalty is calculated on a monthly basis, so the fine will be 1/12 of the annual fine for each month an individual or family is uninsured.

  • You may be eligible for government assistance to purchase health care.
    If you don’t have access to health insurance through an employer, you may qualify for premium subsidies through the Health Insurance Marketplace. These subsidies help make the cost of buying health care coverage more affordable. To learn more and to see if you qualify, visit: healthcare.gov/will-i-qualify-to-save-on-monthly-premiums. Additionally, you may qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. To learn more, visit: medicare.gov.
  • You may be exempt from the requirement to have health care coverage if any of the following are true for you:
    • The lowest available eligible plan costs more than 8 percent of your income.
    • You’re of American Indian ethnicity.
    • You’re an undocumented immigrant.
    • You have a religious objection.
    • You’re experiencing a financial hardship.
    • You’re without coverage for less than three months.
    • You’re incarcerated.
  • Even with health insurance, you’ll have out-of-pocket costs.
    While health insurance helps to pay for health care expenses, most plans require you to pay a portion of the cost. To quickly see the actuarial value (AV) of a plan, look for the following metal levels: Bronze (60 percent), Silver (70 percent), Gold (80 percent) and Platinum (90 percent). Plans with a higher AV will likely have higher up-front monthly premium costs but offer greater coverage for medical expenses, protecting you from high out-of-pocket costs.

What you need to do:

1. If you're employed, 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 government marketplace. 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 you're offered job-based benefits and if you may be eligible for premium subsidies in the individual market.

2. Enroll in compliant coverage.
Whether you find coverage through a private insurer or government-facilitated marketplace, enroll in a plan that meets compliance standards to protect yourself from unexpected penalties. 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 steer you off course. Take advantage of voluntary insurance options 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.