Aflac. Admit it, you all said that in a duck voice, didn’t you? I don’t think I CAN say it without using a duck voice. What is it? Well, it must be just some extra insurance that I have to pay for and never use. I already have insurance so this can’t help. Stop! Hold up. Back up. This is so not the case. Let me tell you the amazing ways Aflac has been good to my family! 10 years ago, I found out I was pregnant…with twins. I was a 1st year teacher and my hubby had been teaching just a few years. Twins=high-risk pregnancy=lots of doctor visits=lots of bills. How were we going to pay for this? Enter Aflac. The school rep talked to me about the different options at the time. One of them was ICU coverage. Now, it was slightly different back then than it is now. Back then, there was no waiting period. I could purchase it then and use it immediately (now, there is a 9 month waiting period).
So, being the researcher I was (and am), I discovered the likelihood of my babies being early (and needing to spend some time in the NICU) was pretty high. So, we decided to get the ICU coverage and best case scenario, have full term-healthy boys and not ever see the inside of the NICU. Financially, even if we spent 1 day in the NICU, we would even out. It was a no-brainer. We got Aflac (duck voice, again?) and are so happy we did. The boys were 5 weeks early. Luckily nothing major but they did need to spend 15 days getting help eating and breathing. We didn’t think much of the bill at the time. THEN a few days we got out and it.hit.us. The NICU hospital bill was around $74,000. JUST for the NICU. Not including doctor services. Gulp. Thankfully, we have wonderful insurance through our schools but it still didn’t cover everything. We remembered Aflac and submitted it. A week later we got a check in the mail from them. $8,000. Yes, you read that right. A legit check-no questions asked-for $8,000. Our worries were relieved and we could focus on our babies (get this-had we been on Aflac for the entire 9 months, according to my calculations we would have seen a check for $24,000)! From that point on, I planned ahead.
The following year, we cancelled NICU but stayed with Aflac for its other programs. The one we have been most faithful with has been accidental. The.Best.Policy! With it, we have received a check when our daughter burned her arm on our fireplace, we have received checks for chiropractor visits due to slipping during aerobics (guess I am not as coordinated as I thought) and we even get a check every year just for staying healthy (they have a Wellness Benefit Claim that pays you to get a check up like the dentist).
One other policy that we have had is short-term disability. This is one I suggest to any of my hopeful mama friends. If you want to be home with your new baby, but your job doesn’t offer benefits; Aflac to the rescue! They pay you while you are home recovering (all while snuggling the bambino).
Kristi Reinke, 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher in Minot, North Dakota