Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Aetna vs. Aflac

Health insurance is almost a requirement to get quality health care in today’s world. If you are looking for health insurance, two of the top insurance providers to compare are Aetna and AFLAC. They are both well known companies which offer quality health insurance products.

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Aetna Health Insurance Company

Aetna is a very large provider of health insurance in the United States. They have more than 37 million customers, ranging from retirees to students to families to companies.

Since the Aetna network of providers is very large and nationwide, if you are traveling outside of your home area and need medical treatment, you can go to any Aetna-approved provider and receive services at the regular rates you receive at home.

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Health Insurance Plans Available

Aetna offers eight different health care plans. These plans include access to health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). If you prefer to have a full choice of doctors and hospitals, you can also choose point of service (POS) plans and plans that are for basic health needs.

HMO Plan

Aetna’s HMO plans are only available in Pennsylvania. They offer low copays for doctor visits and require that you receive medical services from doctors and hospitals included in their network. If you do not receive services from an approved medical provider, those services may not be covered or be covered at a significantly reduced benefit.

PPO Plan

Aetna offers three PPO plans. PPO plans allow you to have access to a large number of doctors who participate in the preferred provider network. If you choose to receive medical services from a doctor or hospital outside of the PPO network, those services may be covered at a significantly reduced rate or not allowed at all.

The advantage of an Aetna PPO plan is that you do not need to preselect a primary care provider and you do not need a referral to see a specialist as long as they are a participant in the Aetna PPO network. Services covered in the Aetna PPO plans include doctor visits for routine care and preventive health maintenance, hospital and emergency care, prescription drugs, outpatient surgery and specialist care.

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Basic Coverage Plan

If you are in relatively good health, you may only need basic health care coverage. Aetna offers a Preventive and Hospital Care plan that covers physical exams, annual GYN exams, well-child care, hospital stays, outpatient surgery, skilled nursing and home health care. This plan does not require you to use an in-network hospital or doctor. You can choose a deductible level that is affordable for your needs.

Combined HMO/PPO Plan

Aetna also offers a plan that combines the benefits of an HMO plan with a PPO plan. The Managed Choice plan is a good option for people who have frequent doctor visits and health care needs. This plan you receive care from a primary care provider who coordinates your care, including consulting with specialists, through the Aetna-approved network of providers.

If you receive services from a doctor or hospital outside the network, those services may be reimbursed at a higher out-of-pocket rate. Covered services in this plan include, but are not limited to, office visits to your primary care provider and specialists, prescription medications, routine physicals, lab work and x-rays.

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AFLAC Supplemental Health Insurance

Unlike major medical health insurance, AFLAC policies are supplemental insurance. If you have AFLAC coverage, you are paid directly for expenses that you may incur if you are sick or injured. With payments from AFLAC you can pay for expenses such as mortgage or rent, groceries, gas, insurance deductibles or other medical expenses not covered under your health insurance policy and any other daily or regular expenses you may have.

You select payment and benefit levels when you sign up for AFLAC coverage and when you file a claim, it is usually processed within four business days. AFLAC offers a number of different kinds of supplemental coverage, including accident, cancer, illness-specific and others.

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Types of AFLAC Supplemental Health Insurance Coverage

Accident Coverage

AFLAC’s accident coverage provides benefits to you if you are in an accident. Accident coverage includes expenses that may not be covered under your medical plan, including transportation and lodging costs, treatment for broken teeth, ambulance expenses, emergency room visits and more.

Cancer and Disease-Specific Coverage

Even with good health insurance coverage, many expenses associated with catastrophic illness are not included. AFLAC’s cancer and disease-specific coverage includes benefits for expenses such as experimental treatments, childcare and household assistance, out-of-network specialists and food and lodging. You can also use AFLAC benefits to pay for normal living expenses, such as groceries, car payments and rent or mortgage payments.

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Critical Care and Recovery

Critical care and recovery insurance provides cash benefits if you or a family member experience a major, devastating health event. Covered health conditions include stroke, coma, heart attack, major organ transplant and persistent vegetative state, among others. Benefits are paid directly to you and can be used for daily living expenses, experimental treatments and other expenses not covered under traditional health insurance.

Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance

Hospital confinement coverage covers expenses that are not covered with traditional health insurance. Through AFLAC coverage, there are no deductibles, coverage benefits are increased for the first five days of hospital confinement, there is no precertification and you can use the coverage at any provider, since there is no network. Choose from basic hospitalization coverage to extensive hospitalization insurance, which also covers expenses such as diagnostic procedures, ambulance transportation and outpatient surgery.

Lump Sum Cancer or Critical Illness Coverage

AFLAC’s lump sum coverage provides you with a lump sum cash benefit if you are diagnosed with cancer or a critical illness. Each of these policies has a predetermined cash benefit that you select at the start of coverage. You can use the cash benefit to cover expenses such as experimental treatment, rehabilitation, out-of-network specialists, lodging for family, daily living expenses, hospital transportation or extended hospital stays.

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Short Term Disability

Short term disability coverage is only available through employer deduction programs. This coverage allows you to receive benefits if your doctor determines that you are unable to work due to illness or injury. When signing up for coverage, you determine what your monthly benefit will be, how long it will be paid and the length of time before benefits are applied.

Aetna Health Insurance and AFLAC Supplemental Coverage Together

Both Aetna and AFLAC provide excellent options for health insurance benefits. Working in conjunction with each other, you can have full health insurance coverage that will allow you to be financially secure if you are struck with an illness or injury.

Aetna provides several different kinds of health insurance, including HMO and PPO coverage, in addition to basic major medical. AFLAC provides supplemental health benefits that are paid directly to you in cash payments. You can use AFLAC payments to cover expenses not included in your health insurance plan or daily expenses that you may incur while you are ill or injured.

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