If only you could customize your medical insurance, and have it cover certain medical screenings and tests...my life would be so much easier. Since being diagnosed with cancer in 2008, I have not only memorized the Cigna's customer service phone number, but I have also talked with half a dozen call reps who know me by name now. :-) You would think that with a diagnosis like cancer, that the insurance companies would cut you some slack when it comes to sending you claim notices, just to let you know in print how much you owe to hospitals and doctors. For the money that my husband pays in each month for the PPO (which is supposedly the top tier, best plan for families with medical issues), you would think everything under the sun would be covered -- well, I learned the hard way that this is not true. All during treatment in 2008, I racked up a medical bill of uncovered treatments and services of close to $10,000, which I had to pay out of pocket, on top of co-pays and the bi-weekly deductions taken from my husband's paycheck for medical coverage. So, while undergoing daily radiation and weekly chemo, I also had the recurring debt hanging over my head. And, before treatment finished 3 months later, I was already getting bills to pay up. If only I had known prior to treatments and services rendered what our medical coverage covered, and what I would be paying -- I wouldn't be as shocked when the bills started rolling in.
It took us almost four years to pay off the debt incurred for the necessary life saving cancer treatment I underwent at Dana Farber. And, since treatment finished, I continue to see doctors every 3-4 months and have multiple scans. All these visits equate to $35 co-pays and $$$$ in charges that my husband's medical insurance doesn't cover. :-( But, thanks to the new "Real Cost Calculator" from Aflac, I can play out different scenarios and see what costs we will incur in a given year - thus, better preparing us to save and be able to cover all the bills -- and, not go into further debt.
"Consumers may not be aware how costly an illness or injury can be even with
major medical insurance; however, medical conditions like cancer or stroke can result in thousands of dollars in unexpected out-of-pocket medical costs and expenses. For instance, the mean charge for a hospital stay for a heart attack is $65,427 according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.1 Aflac, the No. 1 provider of supplemental and guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States, is introducing the Real Cost Calculator to help consumers understand the costs associated with common illnesses and injuries such as cancer, heart attack, fractured limbs and others. Real Cost Calculator — Simple and Easy To Use
This interactive tool is designed to show in three easy steps, potential out-of-pocket medical costs and household expenses like rent/mortgage, utilities and car payments. By visiting www.Aflac.com/RealCost, consumers can better prepare themselves financially for the costs associated with unexpected injuries and illnesses.
How does the calculator work?
The Real Cost Calculator incorporates data from numerous national public sources to show the average costs of a variety of medical conditions. In the short time it takes to use the tool, consumers may be surprised to find:
• The average cost to treat a broken leg is more than $10,000.2
• The average annual expense for people diagnosed with diabetes is $11,744.3
• Some of the newer cancer treatments can cost about $10,000 a month.4
Also, the data presented in the How Aflac Helps section is based on average claims paid over a 10-year period. For instance, Aflac has paid cash benefits for non-wellness claims to approximately 6 million people from 2000 –2010.
Go to Aflac.com/Real Cost to test the new calculator and clearly see how Aflac helps offset the real cost of an illness or injury."
If only I had known about Aflac's Cancer insurance prior to my diagnosis. It would have helped pay a portion of the medical expenses that weren't covered by our primary medical insurance. Wonder how much you could save if you were diagnosed with, let say, breast cancer? I tried out the new "Real Cost Calculator" from Aflac, and this is what I found out:
Scary to think that a diagnosis like breast cancer could cost your family almost $72,000. Do you have the money to foot the bill? I don't think so. Can you imagine how you would feel seeing bills like this coming in while trying to battle cancer? I can speak from experience, that it is not fun. My family and I were stressing out about the rising debt we were incurring, and wondered how we would pay it, without losing the house, etc. Very scary, and not a feeling I would wish upon anyone. But, with Alfac's Cancer insurance, they could help you with $17,149 in cash benefits to help pay for cancer treatment as well as costs associated with daily living.
Now that the weight of my cancer treatment debt has been lifted off my shoulders, and we now budget for the $100-$300 out-off-pocket expenses every 3-4 months for necessary scans, I also have peace of mind because we signed up for and carry the Aflac Cancer Insurance. Hopefully, we will never have to use this supplemental insurance. But, if we do, it will make a world of difference financially and emotionally.
Be prepared for life's unexpected curve balls with Aflac. To learn more about Aflac's supplemental insurance policies, like their cancer insurance, visit their website now -- http://www.aflac.com/.
About the Aflac Real Cost Calculator:
Aflac’s Real Cost Calculator is an innovative tool to help users understand the real costs associated with illnesses or injuries. These costs include:
• Expenses not covered by major medical, such as deductibles and co-pays;
• Out-of-pocket costs for things like transportation to follow-up medical appointments; and
• Everyday household expenses (rent/mortgage, utilities and car payments) that continue even if you are sick and out of work – which for many people means not earning a paycheck.
The Calculator incorporates data from numerous public sources (including public health agencies, healthcare providers, and voluntary health organizations) to show the average total costs of a variety of medical conditions.
The data presented in this tool is for illustrative purposes only. The Aflac policy payout values are averages; and are not guarantees of an amount to be paid for the listed conditions. Aflac payout data shown is based on historical claims over a 10-year period, across all product plans in force at the time. The values represent the average amount of claims paid to a policyholder with the condition over the time frame (2000-2010). Aflac policies are not available in all states and may vary by state and plan level. Benefits payable are determined at time of claim. The Real Cost Calculator demonstrates how Aflac’s products help provide policyholders with a safety net if they are sick or hurt.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac individual and group insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For six consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2013, FORTUNE magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 15th consecutive year. Also, FORTUNE magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 11th time in 2012. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit www.aflac.com or www.espanol.aflac.com.
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Aflac. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.