The company has an unusual perspective on the U.S. health insurance market.
The company is best known in the United States for selling individual supplemental health insurance products at the worksite.
In Japan, the company has had a major cancer insurance operation for decades, and it’s also built a big business selling products designed to help consumers handle the gaps in that country’s government-paid national health coverage.
Aflac executives experience in Japan may have given the company good preparation for operating in a U.S. health insurance market reshaped by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
Aflac is also a big, successful, publicly traded company that is keenly interested in the commercial major medical insurance market, but is not dependent on sales of major medical coverage.
For a look at three things Aflac’s executives told the analysts about the company’s place in PPACA World, read on.
1. The company sees major medical out-of-pocket costs increasing and the demands on employers’ human resources team growing.
Teresa White, president of Aflac U.S., said the company sees pressure to offer high-deductible coverage having more of an effect on the smaller employers, and the administrative concerns related to employee counting having more of an effect on larger small employers.
“Mid to large employers are still overwhelmed by the regulatory aspects,” White said. “These employers are seeking ways to make coverage affordable, while at the same time reducing the administrative burden.”
Meanwhile, Aflac research has shown that 52 percent of U.S. workers would have a hard time handling even $1,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs, White said.