When shopping for an insurance provider, it is important to know your options. Both AFLAC and United Healthcare are top companies in their niche. These two companies represent different types of health insurance, traditional and supplemental.
AFLAC vs United Healthcare Insurance
United Heathcare Insurance Company is a division of UnitedHealth Group. It is one of the largest health insurance providers in the United States and they are known for providing quality insurance to their customers for an affordable price.
AFLAC is best known for providing health insurance supplements and are the largest provider of this type of insurance in the United States. Originally known as American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, they began using just the initials AFLAC in 1990. AFLAC policies provide funds if the insured customer is injured or ill and unable to continue working during their recovery time. In business for over 50 years, AFLAC has thrived despite the economic slump in part because they are not a traditional health insurance provider.
What is Supplemental Insurance?
Carrying traditional health insurance can help to pay medical bills that may come up, however in some cases it simply may not be enough. As medical expenses increase or accidents and disease occur, it is possible that a traditional insurance plan won’t cover certain care, conditions or long term treatment. As bills add up a family can quickly find themselves buried in financial ruin.
Most medical insurance companies pay for care by physicians and hospitals. AFLAC is different, they describe themselves as “insurance for daily living”. The benefits are paid in cash, directly to the insured, and are intended to assist with living expenses when the customer unable to work.
Supplemental insurance is exactly that, a supplement to a traditional health insurance plan. AFLAC provides insurance to help pay for what the major medical insurance companies like United Healthcare don’t cover.
AFLAC offers policies that will pay cash benefits to the insured for the following illnesses and events:
- Cancer/Specified Disease
- Critical Care and Recovery
- Hospital Confinement Indemnity
- Hospital Confinement Sickness Indemnity
- Hospital Intensive Care
- Juvenile Life
- Lump Sum Cancer
- Lump Sum Critical Illness
- Short Term Disability
What is a Lump Sum Policy?
Lump sum cancer and critical illness policies pay the insured with a pre-determined amount if the covered person is diagnosed with any form of cancer or being treated for a critical illness such as heart attack, stroke, coma, organ transplant, paralysis or renal failure.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in five people diagnosed with cancer use their entire savings while fighting the disease. Those stricken with a critical illness face unexpected costs in addition to deductibles and copays. Out of network specialists, experimental treatments, extended hospital stays, and daily living expenses while not able to work add up quickly. Receiving a lump sum benefit from AFLAC helps ease these financial burdens.
AFLAC Guaranteed Renewal Policy
One of the biggest reasons AFLAC is so successful is their guaranteed renewal policy. As long as policy premiums are paid, all policies may be renewed every year regardless of how many times a previous policy was used or the customer’s current state of health. This benefit is ideal for people suffering with chronic pain, chronic diseases, or otherwise requiring ongoing care.
United Heathcare Insurance Plans
United Healthcare offers six different types of policies:
- Copay – the insured pays a small co-payment to hospitals and physicians for most health care expenses.
- High-Deductible – the insured pays out of pocket for most routine health care expenses up to a certain amount.
- Health Savings Account – gives the insured more control on how their health care money is spent.
- Short-Term – for people who have lost group coverage due to loss of job or life change such as divorce.
- Student coverage
United Healthcare Copay Insurance Plans
The patient is responsible for paying a copayment, a low fixed amount, for office visits and prescription drugs. United Healthcare will then cover the remainder of the cost up to a specified limit as long as the physician with within the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). Often preventative care visits do not require a copayment and are covered 100% by the plan.
It is important to be aware that some plans only cover generic prescription drugs only. Sometimes even if coverage includes brand name medications, there could be some that simply aren’t covered on the plan. It is always wise to double check any medications that are needed with the medications covered under the plan.
United Healthcare High Deductible Plans
A deductible is the amount that needs to be paid out of pocket before the insurance company will pay for any health care expenses. With a high deductible plan the premium is much lower than a copay plan, but the insured will need to pay out of pocket for most of their medical expenses until they reach the deductible amount. Once the deductible is met United Healthcare covers any further expenses.
United Healthcare Health Savings Accounts
The health savings account combines a high deductible insurance plan with a tax advantaged savings account. Money that would normally be spent on premiums is instead moved to the HAS (Health savings account) and then can be used to pay medical expenses until the deductible is met. This gives the subscriber more control of their health care funds, lower premiums and a tax savings at the end of the year.
United Healthcare Short Term Medical
Life changes and job loss can cause gaps in health insurance coverage. A short term medical insurance plan can help keep people insured through these transition periods until long term coverage can be secured.
United Healthcare offers coverage periods from one to eleven months long, and the plan can be cancelled at any time without incurring a penalty. These types of plans are great for people who are:
- Young adult no longer covered under a parent’s insurance
- Newly divorced
- Someone waiting for new coverage to start
Traditional and Supplemental Insurance Together
AFLAC and United Healthcare offer two different types of insurance and each company provides many ways to customize the plans to every need and budget. Picking the right policy for an individual or family can be confusing. Both companies have representatives with deep knowledge of their policies and can help customers decide on the best plans for them. In the case of AFLAC vs United Healthcare, these are two insurance companies that can complement one another.