A conversation with Kip Havel
In February, Aflac announced that it was introducing an industry-first initiative that allows the company to process, approve and disburse payment for eligible claims in just one business day.
In a Q&A with Kip Havel, vice president of Integrated Marketing at Aflac, we look at how One Day Pay℠ is changing the insurance industry and what this change means for advisors.
1. How does One Day Pay℠ work?
One Day Pay℠ leverages Aflac SmartClaim®, our online claims submission system. The intuitive and simple-to-use system makes the claims process something that can be completed in a matter of minutes. In fact, submitting a claim is as easy as 1-2-3: 1) Use SmartClaim, 2) Upload Documents, 3) Submit by 3 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.
The SmartClaim system uses a series of easy-to-answer questions to walk policyholders through the claim submission process, helping to remove the guesswork. Once the questions are answered, SmartClaim identifies the supporting documents the policyholder needs to upload. Policyholders can even use a smartphone to snap a photo of paper documents if they don’t have a scanner nearby. After uploading the required supporting documents, a claim is submitted and processing begins. If an eligible claim is submitted via SmartClaim by 3 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, with all supporting documentation, Aflac processes, approves and disburses payment for the claim in just a day.
2. Aflac was already considered an industry leader in claims payment, what prompted the One Day Pay℠ initiative?
In today’s digital world, consumers expect fast service – period. A recent survey found that not only are people extremely comfortable with using services they can summon from an app or website, but they’ve come to expect the same conveniences afforded by the Internet age – like real-time tracking and same-day delivery – from all the businesses and services they use. Understanding this, we decided that there was no better time than now to bring an even faster claims payment service to our policyholders. Our One Day Pay℠ initiative gets cash benefits to policyholders faster than any other insurer. Aflac has always been known for processing claims fast; we’re just doing it even faster now.
3. What kind of impact do you think this initiative will have on the voluntary insurance industry?
We’re in an era of unprecedented consumer-driven health care. Responsibility for health care education, costs and day-to-day benefits management has never been higher for consumers, and consumers expect more from their health care insurance partners than ever before. We expect this initiative to motivate and drive other companies in the voluntary insurance industry to work toward our new standard.
4. Do you view One Day Pay℠ as the future of the overall health insurance industry?
It’s a truism of business that companies must evolve to succeed. Market conditions fluctuate, customer needs and expectations change, and the technologies available to create and deliver new products advance. The insurance business is no different. The time is right for the health insurance industry to follow Aflac’s lead and reconsider the “deny and delay” stigmas that consumers may associate with paying claims.
With consumers’ lives only moving faster and the demand growing for businesses that can adapt to this lifestyle, we envision the future of the health insurance industry to focus on similar “process and pay” solutions that put customer satisfaction ahead of incremental business profits.
5. How does the introduction of One Day Pay℠ impact advisors?
As an advisor, clients rely on your knowledge of new offerings so they can provide the best benefits options to their employees. Knowing that Aflac is not only the No. 1 provider of voluntary insurance at the work site in the United States , but also processes, approves and disburses payment for eligible claims in just one business day should help advisors explain how Aflac offers superior service to their clients.
Essentially, employees will be happier and more productive at work if they do not have to worry about the financial burden that accompanies an unexpected illness or accident. When employees are able to get their money in just a day, that’s a lot less time spent waiting and worrying about their financial situation. Businesses in turn benefit from a more productive workforce, and advisors are the glue that brings everything together. However, advisors know that their word is only as good as the insurers’ ability to follow through on its promise. In 2015, Aflac is on pace to exceed 1 million One Day Pay℠ claims paid. At Aflac, we keep our promises; that’s The Aflac Way.