Is it time for a heart-to-heart about heart health?
by Wendy HerndonMs. Herndon is second vice president of Product Launch and Adoption at Aflac. With more than 20 years of experience in this field, she is responsible for providing the overall strategy for all product-related launch, promotional and educational activities. Visit www.aflac.com
How often do we stop to appreciate the little things in life that are simply good for the heart, such as laughter or time with friends and family?
February was American Heart month, initiating a nationwide effort to consider heart health. As an agent or broker, this opened the discussion with clients to think about their heart health and review their benefits offerings. Doing so can help them avoid the heartache that could come from out-of-pocket costs related to heart disease.
Straight From The Heart
No two people are the same, an important tip to remember when discussing heart health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of Americans (47%) are likely to display a heart disease risk factor such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and health effects from smoking.1 Since people have such diverse backgrounds, each person should be aware of their own unique risk factors.
A discussion on risk factors related to family history or personal lifestyle choices with clients can better set them up for success as they consider the right insurance offerings. In fact, the 2019-2020 Aflac WorkForces Report shows that 84% of consumers would be likely to purchase insurance to help cover costs associated with a serious illness that they know is in their family history.2 This provides a natural lead into a discussion about what benefits make sense for individuals’ personal health needs.
Supplemental insurance has your best interest at heart
Heart disease is expensive — the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that approximately 1 in every 6 health care dollars is spent on cardiovascular disease.3 When talking with your clients, consider talking about how supplemental coverage can help with expenses health insurance doesn’t cover.
Critical illness insurance can help cover costs following sudden major health events such as a heart attack or stroke. Hospital insurance can help with the expenses associated with admittance to the hospital for treatment and recovery. And short-term disability insurance can help financially with income replacement due to missing work. From the onset of illness to recovery and returning to one’s job, supplemental coverage can help individuals rest easier and set their minds on what is most important — getting better.
Encourage Proactive Heart Health
Another component to heart health is doing one’s part to maintain a healthy lifestyle now. One more obvious but potentially overlooked activity that helps? Exercise. According to the World Heart Federation, engaging in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week will reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by about 30%.4 Other options, including smoking cessation and an improved diet, can also go a long way. Every effort, no matter how small, can help toward having a healthy heart. Of course, it is wise to consult your physician before embarking in a new exercise program.
It’s always a good time to encourage clients to consider their personal risk factors, look at the benefits of supplemental coverage options and ponder proactive ways they can help care for their heart. A little heart-to-heart can go a long way.
1 “Know Your Risk for Heart Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Jan. 21, 2020. www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/risk_factors.htm.
2 The 2019-2020 Aflac WorkForces Report is the ninth annual study examining benefits trends and attitudes. The surveys, conducted by Kantar, captured responses from 1,200 employers and 2,000 employees across the United States in various industries.
3 “Costs & Consequences.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed Jan. 21, 2020. https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/learn-prevent/cost-consequences.html.
4 “Risk Factors.” World Heart Federation. Accessed Jan. 21, 2020. https://www.world-heart-federation.org/resources/risk-factors.
The content within is for informational purposes for agent and broker-facing audiences. This information is not approved to distribute to prospective insureds, to prospective accounts, or to use as a solicitation. Misrepresenting this, or any, information to solicit or induce an insured to lapse, forfeit, or surrender an insurance policy is prohibited by law. Any use not specifically permitted herein is strictly prohibited. Aflac herein refers to American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and/or American Family Life Assurance Company of New York and/or Continental American Insurance Company and/or Continental American Life Insurance Company.
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