Dependable insurance providers AFLAC and Cigna offer a variety of life insurance options for the financial security of individuals and their families. However, these two companies differ significantly in the scope and availability of insurance products.
While AFLAC’s insurance options can be purchased by any individual, Cigna’s products are sold only through participating employers.
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AFLAC Life Insurance Plans
AFLAC (American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbia) offers several life insurance options for individuals in the United States, with detailed riders for its Juvenile Life Insurance options which provide coverage of a policyholder’s children.
AFLAC provides its life insurance products directly to individual purchasers, not through employers, so its plans carry no portability provisions for continued coverage after employment ends.
AFLAC Term Life Insurance
AFLAC’s Term Life Insurance plans are available for terms ranging from 20 to 30 years with the option of renewing the policy for an additional term after the policy expires.
Term Life Insurance is available to any purchaser without a medical exam and is considered the most economical of life insurance plans. Term Life covers the individual policyholder, with Juvenile Term Life riders available for the coverage of children.
AFLAC Whole Life Insurance
Whole Life Insurance offers not only a death benefit, but also a portfolio-based investment component which can be collected, borrowed against, or used to pay the premiums on the policy itself.
AFLAC’s Whole Life Insurance can remain in effect for life as long as policy premiums are paid, and purchasers can work with AFLAC representatives to establish the investment aspects of the policy for maximum return. Whole Life Insurance can also be purchased with a Juvenile Rider to cover eligible children.
AFLAC’s Juvenile Life Insurance Riders
Any purchaser of a Term or Whole Life Insurance Policy through AFLAC can also add a Juvenile Rider to cover children. These riders establish benefits for covered children from ages 14 days to ages 17 (for Whole Life) or 25 (for Term Life), with the option to convert to a standard term or whole life policy in their own name after that time.
Juvenile Term Life policies continue until the anniversary year after the child’s 25th birthday, at which time the child can choose to purchase an individual Term Life plan. Juvenile
Whole Life Insurance policies double on a covered child’s 18th birthday, after which the child can also elect to continue coverage with standard individual Term Life. Coverage options include $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000, and total life coverage may not exceed $30,000.
Both Juvenile Term and Whole Life Insurance plans provide coverage even if a child is diagnosed at a young age with a serious health condition. In this case the covered child can still purchase an individual policy once coverage under Juvenile Term Life ends. However, plans do not cover death by suicide within 2 years of the policy date; in that event, benefits are limited to a refund of premiums paid to that date.
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CIGNA’s Life Insurance Plans
Unlike AFLAC’s plans, CIGNA’s Term Life and Universal Life insurance options are available only through participating workplace programs. CIGNA, a merger of Connecticut General Life Insurance and the Insurance Company of North America, works with both small and large organizations in 29 countries to cover employees working at home and abroad.
CIGNA’s plans offer several provisions not only for the usual death benefits, but also for assistance in the event of certain disabilities and illnesses. Unlike AFLAC, CIGNA offers no Whole Life Insurance plan and has no specific options for children’s coverage, although its Term Life Insurance plans offer a wide range of benefit options for assistance during illnesses and disability. Because CIGNA’s plans are employer-based, they include a portability option for continued coverage if an employee leaves the company or changes status from full-time to part-time.
CIGNA Term Life Insurance
CIGNA’s Term Life Insurance is available in terms of 10 to 30 years and can be renewed once the policy’s term expires. In addition to paying a death benefit, the policy offers a number of Living Benefit options to assist policyholders in the event of other serious life events:
- Critical Illness Benefits assist employees diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, heart conditions or AIDS. These benefits can be claimed for the duration of a covered illness, with the balance still payable as a death benefit.
- Terminal Illness Benefits offer a payout of 50% of the death benefits directly to a covered employee diagnosed with less than 12 months to live.
- The Waiver of Premium maintains coverage without payment of premiums for employees under 60 who face a covered, temporary disability. No premiums are charged for the duration of the disability.
- Disability Continuation maintains policy coverage for a limited time for employees over 60 who become disabled. These employees can continue the policy on a premium-paying basis for up to 12 months.
CIGNA’s Universal Life Insurance
Like Term Life Insurance, CIGNA’s Universal Life Insurance provides financial protection for a specified term of time. However, in addition to the benefits payable upon the death of a policyholder, this plan also includes a Cash Accumulation Fund, which earns time-deferred interest. This option allows employees to protect themselves while building savings, and guarantees a minimum return of interest within 30 days of enrollment.
While CIGNA’s Term Life Insurance policies are available through any participating employer, Universal Life Insurance plans are provided only through organizations having 500 or more employees.
AFLAC and CIGNA: Individual vs. Workplace plans
Both AFLAC and CIGNA offer a variety of insurance products for the financial well-being of individuals and their families. AFLAC’s plans can be purchased directly from the company by any individual; however, CIGNA’s plans are workplace-focused, while AFLAC;s olans are available to any individual regardless of employment.
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