COLUMBUS, Ga., Feb. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, the leading provider of voluntary insurance at the worksite in the United States, today announced the launch of a new critical illness plan — Critical Care Protection. This plan offers a wide range of coverage options as well as new benefits for heart conditions. In the event of a heart attack or stroke, the Critical Care Protection plan is designed to help provide policyholders with a financial safety net so they can concentrate on their recovery and not on money matters.
Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death among men and women, and it's the most costly medical condition in the United States.1 More than 920,000 Americans have a heart attack annually, and nearly half of these occur without warning signs or symptoms.2 The estimated out-of-pocket expenses for a heart attack could cost an average of $5,000 to $8,000 during the first year of treatment.3 In addition, survivors of a severe stroke could be facing $20,346 in treatment in the first 30 days alone.4
By way of comparison, the total direct and indirect costs ($315.4 billion) for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are higher than the National Institutes of Health estimates for the overall costs of cancer in 2009, which are $216.6 billion.5 And these costs are expected to continue to rise. The American Heart Association projects that the total cost of CVD, including direct and indirect costs, will nearly double between 2015 and 2030, soaring from $656 billion to $1,208 trillion — an increase of 109 percent.1
"Unlike other critical illness insurance policies, Aflac's Critical Care Protection plan helps cover expenses from initial diagnosis through treatment and features robust benefits for heart conditions," said J. Keith Pellerin, vice president of Product Management and Innovation at Aflac. "Our new plan's increased coverage options can help ease financial burden in the unfortunate event of a critical illness. When such devastating things happen, the focus needs to be on getting better and not worrying about bills."
Critical Care Protection's key features
There are three plan options featuring enhanced benefits coverage, such as:
- First-Occurrence Benefit – Cash benefit increased to $7,500 payable once per covered person, per lifetime and $10,000 for dependent children.
- Subsequent Health Event Benefit – Cash benefit increased to $3,500 payable per covered person.
- Coronary Angioplasty Benefit – Cash benefit increased to $1,000 payable once per covered person, per lifetime.
In addition, plan Option 3 includes all benefits in Options 1 and 2 as well as these new benefits:
- Specified Heart Surgery Benefits – Cash benefit of $4,000 for heart valve surgery and surgical treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm per covered person.
- Subsequent Specified Heart Surgery Benefit – Cash benefit of $1,000 payable per covered person, per lifetime.
- Specified Heart Surgery Benefits – Cash benefit of $2,000 per covered person, per lifetime, such as:
- Coronary angioplasty.*
- Coronary stent implantation.
- Cardiac catheterization.
- Pacemaker placement.
Costs are rising, but most employees aren't poised to foot the bill
Many Americans are financially unprepared if faced with the high price tag associated with critical illness. According to the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report, 66 percent of workers said they would not be able to adjust to the large financial costs related to a serious injury or illness, and 49 percent had less than $1,000 on hand to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses.6
Critical illness supplemental coverage helps provide protection from the financial liability that can accompany certain health events. Aflac's Critical Care Protection voluntary insurance policy works side-by-side with major medical plans by offering cash benefits that can be used to pay deductibles, copayments and household expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, child care and credit card debt.
Aflac pays claims within one day
Ensuring policyholders get their benefits paid quickly, the insurer recently launched One Day Pay℠ for eligible claims submitted online through the Aflac SmartClaim® system. When claims are submitted by 3 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, with all supporting documentation, Aflac will then process, approve and disburse payment, regardless of whether it's a simple, moderate or complex claim, within just one business day. SmartClaim is available for Aflac's individual accident, cancer, hospitalization or illness policies. To receive payments even faster, direct deposit enrollment is available and recommended.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the leading provider of voluntary insurance at the worksite. Through its trailblazing One Day Pay initiative, Aflac U.S. can receive, process, approve and disburse payment to policyholders for eligible claims within one business day. In Japan, Aflac is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance and insures one in four households. Aflac individual and group insurance products help provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For eight consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2014, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 16th consecutive year. Also, in 2014, Fortune magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 13th time, ranking the company number one in the life and health insurance category. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac and One Day Pay, visit aflac.com or espanol.aflac.com.
Media contact – Kip Havel, 706.243.5543 or [email protected]
1 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2014 Update, American Heart Association, http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/129/3/e28.full.pdf+html accessed on Jan. 15, 2015.
2 Heart Disease Statistics, The Heart Foundation, http://www.theheartfoundation.org/heart-disease-facts/heart-disease-statistics/ accessed on Jan. 13, 2015.
3 American Cancer Society Center Cancer Action Network (CANS CAN), http://action.acscan.org/site/News2??page+NewsArticle&id=11253&news_iv_clrl=1321 accessed on Jan. 13, 2015.
4 The Hastings Center, Health Care Cost Monitor, http://healthcarecostmonitor.thehastingscenter.org/kimberlyswartz/projected-costs-of-chronic-diseases/ accessed on Jan. 13, 2015.
5 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2014. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2014.
6 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report, a study conducted by Research Now on behalf of Aflac, Jan. 2014.
*The benefit for Coronary Angioplasty in Option 3 is not in addition to the benefit in Option 1. If Option 3 is chosen, this is the only benefit amount paid for this condition.