Aflac Updates Cancer Insurance Product to Improve Benefits

PRODUCT: Aflac Cancer Protection Assurance

COMPANY: Aflac Group

BEST RATING: A+ (Superior)

AVAILABILITY: Coverage is available through Aflac-appointed agents and brokers.

FOCUS: Nearly one in three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.

But more than half of employees would not be able to cover an unexpected out-of-pocket medical cost of $1,000 or more, according to the 2018 Aflac WorkForces Report.

“A cancer policy can help with health costs related to a cancer diagnosis that are not covered by major medical insurance,” explains Wendy Herndon, second vice president of Product Development and Implementation at Aflac.

It can also “help cover other expenses that may be incurred while a policyholder is receiving treatment, such as travel expenses, child care, mortgage or rent payments,” Herndon adds.

As one of the company’s flagship products, Aflac Cancer Protection Assurance now features a new plan design that reflects the evolution of patient needs and challenges, and does more to support prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care.

“The health care industry is constantly evolving, and there have been several advancements in cancer medical treatment,” Herndon explains. The latest policy enhancements “better align with these changes” and “reflect market demand for more innovative benefits.”

Herndon adds that Aflac worked with oncologists, social workers and consumers to “gain a deep understanding of not just how cancer is being treated today, but also how Aflac’s benefits offerings could evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of policyholders.”

Aflac has been offering cancer insurance since 1958.

COVERAGE DETAILS: The enhanced policy addresses prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery, incorporating new benefits for genetic testing, preventative surgeries, and benefits for after primary treatments are completed.

“For example, we know after a cancer diagnosis, patients typically have to have more cancer screenings annually,” Herndon points out. “We’ve increased the number of screenings for cancer patients from one to three per year and added an annual care benefit that is available for five years after an initial diagnosis of cancer.”

Additional benefits are available for nonsurgical treatment, such as immunotherapy, and for prophylactic surgery on a non-diseased body part.

“Perhaps more than any other product we’ve developed in the past, the latest iteration of our cancer product is focused on taking a more holistic approach to providing benefits to our policyholders,” Herndon concludes. “These benefits give agents and brokers the ability to position this product to everyone, regardless of life stage.”

Every Aflac policyholder also gains access to My Cancer Circle, an online tool that helps caregivers coordinate volunteers and friends to assist with tasks such as meal preparation or transportation. Through Aflac’s partnership with CancerCare®, policyholders can receive personalized notifications and access instant messaging when they use the My Cancer Circle app.

UNDERWRITING: The application process consists of one primary question related to prior internal cancer diagnosis, then two follow-up questions that are relevant if the applicant has previously been diagnosed with cancer.

There is no minimum application requirement to offer this product at the worksite, other than the standard company requirement of three employees participating in any Aflac product offering.

This product is also available directly to consumers from independent agents licensed to sell Aflac products if Aflac is not offered at their place of employment.

MINIMUM PREMIUM: N/A.

TARGET: “Cancer does not discriminate,” Herndon says. “We believe Aflac’s cancer policy can bring value to almost anyone.”

COVERAGE AVAILABILITY: AK, AL, AR, CA, DC, GA, Guam, HI, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OH, OR, SC, TN, TX, WI and WV. The product has been filed in all 50 U.S. states as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Additional state introductions are occurring daily.

CONTACT: Aflac.

Jacquelyn Connelly is IA senior editor.