Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
COLUMBUS, Ga., April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, the leading provider of voluntary insurance in the U.S., is the preferred brand among consumers who are likely to purchase supplemental products in the next 12 months according to recent data from marketing research firm Prince Market Research (PMR). The survey of 1,714 consumers, conducted by PMR on behalf of Aflac, also shows that 53 percent of consumers say that working for a company that offers supplemental insurance will be important to them post reform.
According to the findings, those consumers who are considering an insurance purchase rate Aflac as the No. 1 brand for accident, disability, cancer and critical illness plans. Voluntary insurance plans provide added protection that complements major medical coverage to help with daily living expenses. Supplemental products – such as accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity plans – are designed to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses such as mortgage, rent, car payments, child care, deductibles, copayments and other necessities.
"The survey results are a testament to Aflac's promise – we are there for our policyholders when they need it most by paying cash benefits to be used as they see fit," said Michael Zuna, executive vice president, chief marketing officer at Aflac. "And, Aflac works quite hard to ensure they get paid quickly as well so they can focus on getting better and back to work."
Many Americans are shouldering both additional health care costs and decision-making responsibility as a result of health care reform. Even with a comprehensive major medical plan, the out-of-pocket costs (both medical and non-medical related) can be substantial. In fact, more than one-third (37 percent) of consumers expect more gaps in coverage and 62 percent think their costs will increase post-reform.
However, only 6 percent of U.S. employees completely agree their family would be financially prepared for an unexpected emergency. In addition, 49 percent of workers have less than $1,000 in savings for out-of-pocket costs and 27 percent have less than $500.1
"As health care costs continue to increase, consumers expect more gaps in their major medical insurance as a result of health care reform and many are unprepared to pay for the higher costs," Zuna said. "That's where Aflac's voluntary plans come into play. Businesses that add voluntary insurance to their benefits offerings can help their employees cope with out-of-pocket expenses due to an injury or illness while not incurring any additional cost to the company."
To learn more, visit aflac.com or follow @aflac on Twitter.
About the 2013 Benefits Landscape SurveyThe 2013 Benefits Landscape Survey is a benefits study examining trends and attitudes regarding supplemental insurance products and health care reform.
Conducted by Prince Market Research on behalf of Aflac, the research contained three components, including 514 Buyers of Aflac products, 600 Buyers of Non-Aflac supplemental insurance products, and 600 Non-Buyers of supplemental insurance products. Topics covered in the questionnaire included current ownership, purchase intent, intent to keep, basic attitudinal similarities and differences among groups (buyers, competitive buyers, non-buyers), potential impact of health care reform on consumer attitudes, and estimated future demand for supplemental insurance products.
For some tables, a weighted total is shown, including all three groups. In these tables, a weighting was applied to mitigate the over-representation of Aflac Buyers in the totals (approximately one third of the sample but only five percent of the consumer population). The weights applied were obtained by using the actual incidence of each group experienced when fielding the survey. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.
MethodologyThe 2013 Benefits Landscape Survey was conducted online in September 16-21, 2013, among 1,714 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 65 with household incomes of $30,000 or more who are primary decision-makers or share in the decision-making process regarding insurance for their households. The questionnaire contained 41 questions, many of which had up to 9 sub-questions and/or contained "check all that apply" responses. It took approximately 10-12 minutes on average to complete the survey online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Aflac Media Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706.243.5543.
About Prince Market ResearchPrince Market Research is a leading marketing research firm that specializes in Brand Strategy Research, Customer Experience Research and New Product/New Service Research. They have a 20-year track record of service to major businesses in the health care and financial sectors as well as non-profit, government agencies, and educational institutions. Prince Market Research provides a customized, full-service approach to market research with a focus on the customer experience. For more information, please visit www.PMResearch.com.
About AflacWhen 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 leading provider of voluntary insurance at the worksite. In Japan, Aflac is the number one life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac individual and group insurance products help provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For eight consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2014, FORTUNE magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 16th consecutive year. Also, in 2014, FORTUNE magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 13th time, ranking the company number one in the life and health insurance category. 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 aflac.com or espanol.aflac.com.
1 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report, a study conducted by Research Now on behalf of Aflac, January 2014
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