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mbrown
04-22-2008, 08:34 AM
Hello- I am currently researching AFLAC and the pros and cons of adding this insurance to our current package. It has been awhile since anyone posted their experiences and / or feedback concerning AFLAC, so I thought I would throw this out there. I would certainly appreciated any "real life" experiences with AFLAC. Specifically, what coverage do you offer, what is the administrative requirements of the HR person, and do your employees like the coverage? I am the sole HR person to a medical billing company of approximately 115 employees. I have already met with our AFLAC rep and she seems pretty knowledgeable and on top of things. Thanks!

NeedCoffee
04-22-2008, 08:45 AM
mbrown -

I did the same thing about a year ago. I found AFLACs products to be just as good, if not identical, to our current Allstate products. In the end, I decided not to go with AFLAC after speaking with several benefits brokers. Their experience is that while the products are good, filing a claim is difficult, resulting in unhappy employees complaining to their HR rep. The AFLAC rep finally did admit to me that their claims processing does tend to take longer than most, but he attributed it to AFLAC covering their bases and making sure fraudulent claims do not go through.

In the end we stayed with Allstate - we would have had problems facilitating a switch due to guaranteed issued policies, etc, and in the end I wanted whoever had the best customer service for my employees.

Good luck!

Dutch2
04-22-2008, 10:27 AM
Good to see another poster from MO... welcome to the forum!!!
We have been with AFLAC for several years now. We offer: cancer protection, accident expense, Short Term Disability, Personal Sickness and Intensive Care coverages. To my knowledge we have not had any problems with AFLAC making payment to our ee's in a timely manner. We have about 150 ee's and probably only about 15% participate in any of the AFLAC programs. However, we do not pay any of the costs associated with the coverages, the ee pays 100% through payroll deduction.
Good luck.

drehil
04-23-2008, 01:03 AM
We just started offering AFLAC in January of this year. We offer Cancer, Short Term and Accidental Coverage with the ee paying 100%. We had just under 40% of our staff sign up for some type of coverage. I have heard no complaints as of yet.
Administratively, the set up took about 2 months. We have 140 employees that work out of 13 different branches and our AFLAC rep wanted to meet with each person individually. That took some time but that would not be the case for all companies. We do everything online with the AFLAC billing. They do bill a month behind and we normally take deduction a month in advance for benefits, so we had to ask them to give us an estimated bill for the first month. Once we started getting the normal bill it only took a couple of pays to get everyone up to date. We also have our billing set up to go out EFT.
As for any paperwork AFLAC takes care of all that. If an employee has any questions, they must contact our rep or go online. We have had two different reps in the last 6 months but both were very knowledgable and helpful. I would do the whole thing over in a heart beat.
Good luck to you.

hrdilemma
04-23-2008, 01:19 AM
We have offered AFLAC since 2000 and within the past 2 years have added our Unreimbursed Medical and Dependant Care FSA with them. Actually they offered to administer it for no fees since they had our business with the products.

The products we offer are Cancer, Accident, Short Term Disability, Specified Event (Heart / Stroke policy) Hospital Confinment & Life. As with Dutch we pay nothing towards the premiums the are funded 100% by the employee we only handle by payroll deduction. Our experience with the FSA has been wonderful regarding the claims turn around and have had very few issues with rejection of items submitted for reimbursement. Unfortunately, we have had two EE's which had to file claims on the Cancer plan and the processing of the claims was very quick and our EE's were quite pleased with their experience and have done nothing but sing AFLAC praises for the way their claim was processed. One of our EE's husband was in a holding pattern for surgery for a schedule after being diagnosed with cancer and had a massive stroke. She filed on both of the plans and had checks within about 6 - 7 days.

All I do is had out packets regarding the products and as part of the insurance enrollment process our rep comes to explain all the products and then makes appointments to sit down with each of the new hires. We receive a deduction card and copy of their enrollment for the file and set up the premiums. Paying their bill is really straight forward. For terminating the coverage for EE's who leave we just delete from the bill and they bill the EE at home from that time forward. We have approximately 300 employees and only about 15% take products. About 25% are in the FSA now with increased enrollment from last year.

Good Luck

Cheryl S SPHR
04-23-2008, 01:27 AM
We offer a couple of AFLAC products through payroll deduction -- cancer, intensive care, and accident. The employee pays the cost. We simply let the employees know it is available and get their permission (or not) to have the agent contact them when they come on board. For claims, the employee works directly with the agent, although we may sometimes have to remind them who their agent is. Our local agent is very good about handling the claims filing for our employees. We have had this several years -- feedback has been good -- no complaints that I am aware of.

ritamcguire
04-23-2008, 08:20 AM
A question concerning AFLAC! Do any readers have experience with the following scenario/problem?

Several HR reps that I know mentioned that their main concern with AFLAC is the fact that AFLAC pays workers while the workers are out on work comp. This encourages the workers to stay home (while getting their AFLAC subsidy) and tends to negate our Return to Work program. Why should they make an effort to come back even for light duty when they can get paid to stay home until they're fully recovered?

Other than for this problem, I wouldn't have a problem using AFLAC. Since we're in Atlanta, we get on average two AFLAC reps per month showing up in our lobby. They're all very polite & knowledgeable individuals.

Your thoughts/comments?

Irie
04-24-2008, 12:19 AM
I agree with you on this point which is why we do not offer wage continuation for people off work due to a work injury. There is no incentive to return to work when you're getting paid to stay home.

We already have a very generous short-term disability plan for those in need. We do not offer AFLAC and have no plans to do so. Plus our payroll department would be pushed over the edge with one more employee deduction to track.

Cheryl S SPHR
04-24-2008, 01:49 AM
Haven't had those scenarios here -- or perhaps I should say I'm not aware of them!

In banking, it is RARE to have someone off on work comp. The coverage purchased by our employees is most typically cancer or intensive care or both. In those cases, it is very clear there is a need for additional income and the times they use the coverage is not work-related.

stilldazed
04-29-2008, 02:39 AM
We brought AFLAC in 3 or 4 years ago to replace a competitor's product, primarily because of conflicts with the prior agent. We solved the agent conflict issues, employees are generally happy with AFLAC, and their products are as good as what we had before and maybe a little more affordable.

There are some downsides to working with AFLAC that we've managed to learn to work with by changing some of what we did in the past, insisting that AFLACE bend a little to our needs, or just working differently:
1. We like to maintain copies of insurance applications in our records, and AFLAC has moved away from printed applications and would prefer not to share them. They have, however, identified, a printed copy of a payroll authorization (as long as they remember before the employee enrolls that we want a copy), and they share a copy of it with us. It is not an enrollment form, but it does outline the policies that worker bought, the costs for the policies, and is evidence that the worker authorized the payroll deduction.
2. AFLAC invoices on a different schedule than all other policies we have. All other companies underwriting our policies invoice a month ahead of each coverage month, and on that basis we payroll deduction in time to have employees' money avialable to pay the invoices. AFLAC bills a month later, the month of coverage, and to keep from confusing workers and muddying the payroll deduction waters too much, we do not change payroll deduction schedules to account for the delay. The delayed invoice requires that accounting & HR staff remain conscious of the month delay when working within the accounting process.
3. AFLAC seems to be very casual about how promptly they address requests for changes in employees' policies, i.e., cancelling policies. Sometimes three to six months may have passed after an employee has cancelled a policy before we actually see the change surface on an invoice. Lisewise with new enrollments.
4. AFLAC offers FSA administration as a TPA at no cost to its employer customers, or so we thought. It was a selling feature that caught our attention. We learned after we signed the contracts that they have a minimum FSA population requirement that qualifies for the free service. Otherwise, the service was available at a cost. We worked out an arrangement with our broker (who strongly recommended the AFLAC) to pay the costs, so we still ended up with the services as not cost to us.
5. AFLAC is very agent driven. The part I don't know is whether our issues outlined above, and they are probably more minimal than they appear on the above list, is a function of the agent serving us or AFLAC itself. The invoicing part I confident is AFLAC as the agent doesn't have a lot of involvement with the invoicing process. The other issues, I don't know.

The relationship has generally been a favorable one for us, especially compared to the level of agent/conflict issues we had prior to AFLAC.

best wishes