Health insurance serves a critically important need in people’s lives but there can still be a myriad of out-of-pocket expenses, especially when something unexpected happens. Aflac provides supplemental coverage to help with expenses health insurance doesn’t cover. Founded in 1955 Aflac has grown and expanded coverage options for more than 60 years. Today, the company has more than 70,000 agents across the country, making it a Fortune 100 company. It has also been named to the Ethisphere® Institute’s annual list of World’s Most Ethical Companies every year since the prestigious award’s inception in 2007.
The North Country’s Aflac team includes Chuck Johnson, Jessie Jennett, and Mike Tumbarello. Johnson is the District Sales Coordinator and Jennett and Tumbarello are both Benefit Advisor Professionals. Their primary territory covers Clinton, Franklin, and Essex Counties, although they have clients well outside that geographic area.
Tumbarello has been with Aflac for 14 years. It was his first job after graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh. “My accidental career” as Tumbarello calls it has been great he said. “I really enjoy it.” Much of his time is spent traveling the region interacting with clients. He reviews coverage options and helps determine which coverage plans best suit their needs. He also helps clients file claims.
Jennett has been with Aflac for eight years. She enjoys the flexibility and incentives the company offers. She enjoys meeting new people and that each day is different. She appreciates that Aflac is a company that rewards employees who are willing to work hard and is proud to be able to help people.
Johnson has worked for Aflac for seven years, moving to Plattsburgh in 2014. He works as part of the field force in a similar manner to Jennett and Tumbarello but also develops and trains new associates and oversees the 400 accounts in the North Country. “To have the ability to get up every day and truly love your job and to have the blessing of being able to help people is just an exceptional opportunity,” he said.
HOW IT WORKS
Johnson, Tumbarello, and Jennett work collaboratively with businesses and insurance brokers to offer benefits. “We work together with the brokers to fulfill client needs,” Johnson explained. The brokers often ask for an Aflac representative to accompany them to businesses. For example, Johnson said, Burnham Benefit Advisors brought Jennett to Norsk Titanium to speak to employees about coverage options. “It becomes a good partnership for all three components: the brokerage house, the business owners or HR department and us,” Johnson explained. “The beauty for the employer is that they can offer a full suite of benefits that gives the employee the opportunity to choose and fund the plans that make the most sense for their family,” Johnson said. Most supplemental insurance plans are 100% employee funded so the additional coverage comes at no expense to the employer.
“We are all independent but we understand there is strength in numbers,” Johnson said. “I rely heavily on Mike and Jessie for input and answers to questions that I might not know and alternatively I’ll get calls from them when there are questions they need help with or problems that need to be solved.”
Aflac offers eight coverage plans: Accident, Cancer, Critical Illness, Life, Hospital, Short- term Disability, Dental, and Vision insurance. “Different employers offer different cover- age lines,” Tumbarello explained. The most common coverage plan among his clients is disability insurance. “We ensure our cars, homes and health but do we ensure our paychecks? The reality is, your paycheck pays for all those other things and without it, those things wouldn’t exist,” Tumbarello said. Two other popular coverage plans are cancer and accident coverage. Those plans help to offset the costs of the things that are most expensive medically, Tumbarello said.
“It’s powerful and moving when you are dealing with people at one of their most challenging times,” Johnson said of interacting with clients when they are in tough situations. “They look to us for the help and the benefits that they are entitled to.” The Aflac promise is “to process and pay, not deny and delay.” The company even offers One Day Pay for certain claims that are filed through an online claims process by 3 pm.
According to Johnson, Aflac is always hiring. Jennett explained the characteristics of a successful field force agent are self-motivation, strong communication skills, and drive. “People who have a desire to help people will do well in the job,” she said. “Aflac has a good in-house training program for new employees. We work with them hand in hand in the field to help them through the process.”
“One of the reasons Aflac has been so successful is because they are always there for their customers and employees and they are the quickest company to process claims, paying directly to customers instead of doctors and service providers,” Jennett concluded.