Name and position: Ruthie Thurm, Licensed Insurance Benefits Advisor
Business Name: AFLAC (American Family Life Assurance Company)
Location: Marine Park
Can you tell us about what you do?
Aflac is the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the work site in the United States. As an Aflac agent, I am dedicated to providing exemplary service and solutions for businesses and individuals. I also protect them from loss in asset and income, and supplemental medical expenses.
Did your position require any sort of training?
Yes. I needed to complete 30 hours of course credit training in all facets of health and accident insurance. Following this, I then needed to sit for an exam to become officially licensed in New York to sell insurance. Professional development is continuous and mandatory in order to stay current with insurance policies. They also help in being able to simplify the information and to be able to clearly relay it to consumers and business decision-makers so that they fully understand their options, and in helping customers make informed benefits decisions that best suit them and their families’ needs.
What is voluntary insurance?
Let’s begin by understanding the term “out-of-pocket limits” and learning some insurance lingo along the way. Health care reform established out-of-pocket limits to protect consumers from runaway medical expenses. But there are some out-of-pocket expenses not included in these limits. The out-of-pocket maximums are different for individuals and for families and they are adjusted each year. It is very important to know that expenses, like premiums or treatments not covered under your plan, or that are obtained outside of your plan’s network, do not count toward out-of-pocket limits. That means these costs can directly affect your wallet and are your, or your family’s, responsibility.
Voluntary insurance pays the policyholder directly regardless of their major medical plan. These benefits ensure you have the funds you need to help pay daily living expenses.
How does it work?
Instead of checks being sent directly to the doctor or hospital, Aflac sends cash benefits directly to policyholders so they can use those funds as they see fit. More than 50 million people worldwide count on them to pay claims fairly, promptly when people need it most – often paid in one day for eligible claims.
Do most people have voluntary insurance?
It is a growing trend in New York, and that is why I have the opportunity to work for such an amazing company.
What about employers?
Whether you are a small business owner, or a large commercial or retail franchise, or a principal in a yeshivah, you rely on your employees and they rely on you. So when they’re dealing with financial or health challenges you want to do all you can to help. Aflac can help you help your employees to be protected, secure, and happier at work with options like accident insurance, hospital plans, critical illness, and short-term disability.
Is it expensive?
We have more than ten types of policies that can be customized to meet most supplemental insurance needs starting with prices as low buying a box of adhesive bandages per week.
Is it challenging to convince people to sign up?
Baruch Hashem, I am up to the challenge! I focus my efforts on educating both consumers and business decision-makers about the need for, and value of, voluntary insurance.
Can you give us an example of a client who’s been helped?
There was a couple who had enrolled in Aflac’s affordable accident insurance policy as a precautionary measure. Three years later, the husband suffered a terrible accident at home; he had fallen off a ladder while climbing up the roof. In the midst of all the physical, emotional, and financial upheavals, the wife received a call from her Aflac insurance agent who then came out to the hospital with coffee and showed her how to complete all the necessary paperwork. The much-needed checks arrived within a few days and made all the difference in maintaining a quality of life during a most trying of times.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to become an insurance broker?
I’ll give you my favorite quote and a heartfelt brachah: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life again.”