We’ve all seen the duck commercials on TV, Critical illness insurance, or CII, can provide much-needed financial support when you’re diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. These policies are often offered through employers, but you can also buy a critical illness insurance policy on your own. One of the most popular options, Aflac’s Critical Illness insurance, provides cash benefits when you’re diagnosed with one of a long list of conditions, including cancer, heart attack, stroke, organ failure, and kidney disease. You can tailor your policy to fit your needs and budget. So, if you’re considering purchasing one of these policies, keep reading to learn more about Aflac Critical Illness insurance.
What is Aflac?
Very few people have never seen the ubiquitous Aflac duck, but if you’re one of them, let’s take a quick look at the company. Aflac is a global insurance company that was founded in 1955 and is the largest supplier of supplemental insurance in the U.S. Aflac is based in Columbus, Georgia, and underwrites a wide range of insurance products but is best known for its payroll deduction insurance coverage.
This is the supplemental insurance that pays cash benefits to the policyholder in the event that they suffer from an illness or accident. In 2009, the company acquired the Continental American Insurance Company, enabling them to offer group and individual products on its platform. As of 2012, Aflac employed some 76,000 licensed sales agents in the United States alone.
What is Critical Illness Insurance?
Critical Illness Insurance is supplemental insurance that pays lump sum cash benefits if you are involved in an accident or diagnosed with a covered illness. It’s tailored to help policyholders financially when dealing with the cost of treatments and recovery due to expensive procedures and diseases.
Commonly, CII covers conditions such as heart conditions, cancer, stroke, and even organ damage involving transplants. Some policies also provide coverage for less common diseases such as cystic fibrosis, deafness, blindness, severe burns, coma, head trauma, and ALS.
Your benefits are decided based on the severity of your condition. In general, the more serious your diagnosis, the more likely you’ll receive a total payout from the policy. CII policies pay only partial sums for less severe conditions, and you may not receive any funds if the condition is easily treatable.
Critical Illness Insurance policies usually do not cover common conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis, and they do not cover any pre-existing conditions.
What does Aflac Critical Illness Insurance cover?
As we mentioned, Aflac’s CII policy covers a wide range of illnesses, such as:
- Heart Attack
- Ischemic Stroke
- Hemorrhagic Stroke
- End-stage Renal Failure
- Major Organ Transplant
- Severe Burns
- Bone Marrow Transplant
- Loss of Speech, Hearing, or Sight
Aflac’s Critical Illness Insurance policy pays lump cash sums to the policyholder when the diagnosis is first made if the covered condition is solely attributed to or caused by an underlying disease. It’s important to note that cancer diagnoses are subject to Aflac’s cancer diagnosis limitation, where benefits are based on the face amount in effect from the date of diagnosis.
One of the best things about Aflac CII is that most claims are paid out in about four days. For instance, the company pays a skin cancer benefit of $250 after the diagnosis once each calendar year. Just keep in mind that some illnesses, such as coronary artery bypass or non-invasive cancer surgery, pay out less than the policy amount.
If you’re interested, Aflac also offers supplemental insurance for cancer diagnoses in the form of a separate cancer policy, or you can add it to your CII policy as a rider for an additional cost. In terms of riders, Aflac will allow you to add other condition-specific ones, including those for HIV, Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, and Parkinson’s. These plans are no full medical insurance & usually only give a cash benefit to help you not have to worry about bills while going through a critical illness. Check out our page on private health insurance to see the best options for real medical coverage.
Are there additional benefits for choosing Aflac CII?
In addition to the benefits discussed above, Aflac’s CII policies offer many other features that clients enjoy. Such features include:
- Additional diagnoses benefits that pay for every different critical illness incurred after the first, when at least six months have passed between the separate diagnoses.
- A “recurrence” benefit that pays a lump sum if you endure the same critical illness again when at least six months have passed between the separate diagnoses.
- Dependent children are covered free of charge under your CII policy. The benefit for payout is 50 percent that of the policyholder’s benefit amount.
- A health screening benefit for the policyholder and their spouse. On certain group plans, Aflac pays up to $50 for getting an annual wellness check.
- If you become totally disabled for at least 90 days due to a covered condition, you’ll receive a premium waiver that lasts up to two years. In other words, you will not be charged a monthly premium for coverage during this period.
- A benefit that allows for successor insurance. This means if the policyholder dies, the spouse if covered, can take over the policy. When this happens, the coverage continues at the spouse’s listed amount, and it also includes dependent child coverage in effect at the time.
It’s important to note that some of these benefits may not be available on every policy and may even be dependent on whether you’re enrolled in an individual or a group policy.
Is Aflac Critical Illness Insurance right for me?
Before buying a CII policy, it’s important to consider your health, financial, and family situation. Aflac’s CII is designed to help you cover the cost of financially devastating illnesses that can’t always be prevented. It also serves as a safety net if you’re already dealing with an existing condition. That said, it’s a good idea to consult a financial advisor before buying a CII policy to ensure that it’s the best fit for your situation.
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, Aflac’s CII is designed to help you protect against the devastating financial consequences of serious illnesses. From cancer to heart disease, Critical Illness Insurance policies can help you cover the cost of treatments and procedures you might otherwise not be able to afford. They also serve as a safety net if you’re already dealing with a serious condition. Yet, before buying a CII policy, it’s a good idea to conduct as much research as possible to ensure the fit is right for you.