As a millenial, I am sometimes stunned by the everyday cost of living. Yes, I had a pretty good idea of what our home mortgage was going to cost us each month and I had a pretty accurate sense of our food-related costs. However, one category that wound up being much more expensive than anticipated has been health insurance. Like many millenials, I have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). This means that a simple trip to a specialist’s office or an unexpected visit to the emergency room results in very high medical bills for my family. Today, I’ll be discussing how a voluntary insurance plan from Aflac can really help with the high costs of HDHPs.
Insurance nowadays can definitely get complicated very quickly. What’s the difference between a deductible and co-insurance? Do you need a referral to see a specialist? How does a health savings plan work? For many millenials, including myself, insurance coverage can get complex. My family recently had a lot of questions regarding our insurance coverage. This is because my husband switched jobs, but the new employer would not offer health coverage for a few months. We knew we didn’t want to be without health coverage for a few months. After all, we have little ones we have to protect!
Eventually, we decided to use COBRA to bridge the difference in insurance coverage. However, navigating this process really taught us a lot about insurance coverage. For example, I recently learned about voluntary insurance through Aflac. We’ve always had high-deductible health plans (deductible over $1000) and I really like that voluntary insurance helps cover the high costs of healthcare. I’ve been researching various policies and it seems like a voluntary insurance policy would be a great option for our family!
If you’ve ever worked for a U.S. employer, you probably know that fall marks open enrollment season. This is the time when employees can select the health insurance policies that best meet their family’s needs over the next calendar year. Did you know that HDHPs are increasing in popularity and are the plan of choice for many millenials (60%). However, many millenials don’t understand the intricacies of their health plans. In fact, according to the 2016 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey, over half (56%) of millenials admit not understanding various details about their health care policy. By setting aside time to fully understand their benefits, millenials can put themselves in a better position to make smart health care choices.
Completing the annual benefits enrollment is important, but many millenials would rather be doing something else- almost anything else! In fact, here are some pretty funny stats on what millenials would rather be doing:
- 28% would rather go a day without social media
- 22% would rather eat their least favorite food
- 21% would rather see a movie or concert they know they won’t like
- 17% would rather talk to their ex
- 14% would rather walk across hot coals
- 16% would rather change baby diapers.
Aren’t these stats surprising – and pretty amusing?
Taking the time to review benefits, however, can really pay off in the long run. In fact, millenials can save up to $750 by making smarter health care decisions. By speaking to a benefits expert at my husband’s employer, we were able to find a plan that best meets our needs!
Our family has always had a HDHP and we definitely feel the burden of paying a high deductible before the insurance coverage kicks in. And I’m not alone in this sentiment! In fact, 38% of millenials completely or strongly agree that they regret choosing a HDHP. What’s even more striking is that almost one-third (32%) at least somewhat agree that they did not understand how a HDHP really works! Is an HDHP the only option offered by your employer? Don’t worry – there are still things you can do to help yourself. For example, a health savings account and voluntary insurance can help contribute to deductibles!
Voluntary insurance is an insurance policy that pays cash when you’re sick or hurt so you can focus on your recovery. There are different types of voluntary insurance available, including accident, disability, critical illness, cancer, hospital and life insurance. What’s unique – and totally fabulous – about voluntary insurance policies is that they pay you (the insured, unless otherwise assigned), so you can apply these cash payments to your recovery bills.
Even when dealing with a major health crisis, bills have to be paid. According to the 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report, 65 % of employees have less than $1,000 to pay the out-of-pocket expenses associated with an unexpected serious illness. With voluntary insurance, you can rest assured that your vacation funds, holiday budgets, etc. remain intact in the event of an accident or illness. Now, that’s something to smile about!
Now, learn more about voluntary insurance and how it can give you peace of mind and tell me: Have you ever had a HDHP? Have medical bills ever felt overwhelming for your family? Would you consider purchasing voluntary insurance?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
*Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.