Most families try to live responsibly. Working to support our families, pay the mortgage, our bills and put food on the table. Managing family finances to insure the monthly paycheck covers a month’s worth of expenses, while saving for the future. But are your family finances prepared for the unexpected? More than half of employees have less than $1,000 to pay for out-of-pocket expenses if an unexpected accident or serious illness happened in their family today. Supplemental insurance from Aflac is an effective financial tool to help ensure you can maintain your lifestyle – even when the unexpected occurs.
This week, my oldest started her second week of school… and had her first three sick days. Back to school often coincides with back to the doctor, as germs spread from tiny hands and faces. After two days of fever, I took her to the doctor. She was diagnosed with bronchitis, and after a breathing treatment at the doctor, we headed to the pharmacy to pick up her prescriptions. Total out-of-pocket cost? Over $100! Office deductible was $20, and prescriptions were nearly $100. I asked if they had run it through our health insurance, and yes, that was my out-of-pocket cost.
I paid. What else could I do? My baby was sick, and she needed the antibiotics and breathing treatments to get better. And while $100 definitely gave me sticker shock, we would find a way to make it fit in our monthly budget… this time. But what if all three of my kids got it? Or her bronchitis progressed to pneumonia? What if she ended up needing a hospital stay? What if the out-of-pocket costs totaled $1,000 or more?
Medical illness is almost always unexpected, and the cost of medical care, even with major medical insurance gets more expensive every day. Supplemental insurance is a great tool to use in managing family finances, to help offset the unexpected and expensive costs of care – both from hospital bills and loss of income.
What is Supplemental Insurance?
Supplemental insurance is not major medical insurance. When you go to the doctor, they submit your claim to your major medical insurance, and you are left with a deductible. Or sometimes, your major medical insurance denies the claim, and you are left with the whole bill. Supplemental insurance is designed to complement and fill the holes in your existing health care coverage.
Today, medical care, even with major medical insurance, is expensive. And it is almost impossible to effectively budget for, due to unpredictability and lack of cost transparency. Supplemental insurance coverage from Aflac pays cash directly to you, the insured (unless otherwise assigned), and allows you to decide how best to use the benefits. The goal is to help you and your family maintain your lifestyle and focus on recovery, without financial strain. Types of supplemental insurance include accident, disability, critical illness, cancer, hospital and life insurance.
How Supplemental Insurance Can Support Working Families
You might think supplemental insurance is just for the elderly or sickly. But the reality it is, working families, with young children, may need it as much as anyone. As you approach the end of the year, your office benefits open enrollment period is likely approaching as well. Consider adding the following supplemental insurance policies to your benefits package to help solidify your family finances for the coming year.
What if you had a car accident tomorrow, and everyone in your family was in the car and injured? Your auto insurance policy likely covers medical care, but with substantial deductibles, usually on a per person basis. If you are at fault, while recovering and caring for your injured family, you may likely also be responsible for $100s, or even $1,000s worth of deductibles. Supplemental accident insurance from Aflac can help relieve the financial burden, letting you focus on recovery.
Short-Term Disability Insurance
That same car accident? What if it left you unable to work for 6 weeks? After you take all your sick days, would you still get paid? At the same time you are paying large medical care deductibles due to injury, you might also be facing no income. Short-term disability insurance can provide coverage of wages lost due to inability to work.
This is also a great option to consider if your employer does not provide paid maternity leave, and you plan to start a family in the coming year. Note, however, that supplemental insurance will not cover a pre-existing pregnancy prior to the effective date of coverage.
Hospital Indemnity Insurance
If you are planning to start or expand your family in the coming year, know that hospital stays are expensive – even with insurance. The number of bills and the expense associated with all three of my fairly normal, uncomplicated pregnancies was astronomical. I kept detailed spreadsheets to keep track of it all. A 3-day hospital stay for me and my newborn cost over $2,000 out-of-pocket for each of my pregnancies (not including my fun visit for kidney stones with #2, or arrival via ambulance with #3).
An average hospital stay lasts over 4 days at a cost of $11,000, with large sums remaining even after the major medical coverage pays its share. No matter how well you are managing your family finances, very few people have that kind of money readily at hand. Hospital indemnity insurance from Aflac can help spare you from plowing through your savings or digging yourself into years of financial debt.
When you are new parents, you are still young yourself. Life insurance is often the furthest thing from your mind. But the unexpected happens everyday. Could you and your family live on a single income? If you or your spouse is currently a stay-at-home parent, would your income cover the cost of childcare if the other were gone? If you have a mortgage or young children, you need life insurance, for both parents.
Managing Family Finances with Supplemental Insurance
Want to improve your family finances with supplemental insurance coverage? Contact your human resource manager or benefits administrator to find out which Aflac supplemental insurance policies are available to you. You can also visit Aflac online for more information and to use their Benefits Estimator to see how policies can help you with out-of-pocket costs.
Don’t let the unexpected prevent you from managing family finances well. Learn how to make the most of other great financial tools, like IRAs and 401Ks, by following our Family Financial Savvy series. Find all the posts in the series, and more financial tips from around the web on our Family Financial Savvy board on Pinterest.
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Policies may not be available in all states. Limitations and exclusions may apply. Benefits are determined by state and plan level selected. Coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. In New York, coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of New York. Z161056O 10/16