MetLife Vs. Aflac: Choosing The Right Supplemental Insurance

When it comes to protecting your finances against unexpected medical expenses, MetLife and Aflac are two of the biggest names in supplemental insurance. But with different product offerings, networks, and benefits, how do you know which provider is the better fit?

This comprehensive guide examines the key differences between MetLife and Aflac to help you make an informed choice.

A Brief Comparison Table

HistoryFounded in 1868, one of the largest global insurance providersFounded in 1955, focused on supplemental health insurance
Main ProductsAccident, critical illness, dental, visionAccident, critical illness, cancer, hospital indemnity, disability
Plan OptionsCustomizable with different tiers of coveragePreset bundled plans
Provider NetworkLarge network plus out-of-network coverageLarge regional/national networks, out-of-network claims
CostMore budget-friendly pricingSlightly higher premiums
RatingsA.M. Best: A+, Moody’s: Aa3A.M. Best: A+, Moody’s: A1
Customer ServiceHigher satisfaction but less personalizedLocal broker provides personalized support

Overview Of MetLife

Founded in 1868, MetLife is one of the largest global providers of insurance and financial services. The company offers a wide range of supplemental insurance products including:

  • Accident insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Hospital indemnity insurance
  • Cancer insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance

With over 90 million customers worldwide, MetLife has the size and scale to negotiate favorable rates from healthcare providers. They leverage an expansive provider network of over 1.5 million dentists and optometrists to deliver savings and convenience.

Overview Of Aflac

While less known than MetLife, Aflac has made a name for itself specializing in supplemental health insurance since 1955. The company is most recognized for its popular duck mascot. Key products include:

  • Accident insurance
  • Cancer insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Hospital indemnity insurance
  • Short-term disability insurance

Aflac partners with over 50,000 broker agencies and insures over 50 million people worldwide. By focusing specifically on supplemental coverage, Aflac promises specialized expertise.

Comparing Plan Options

One of the biggest differences between MetLife and Aflac is the flexibility in available plans.

MetLife allows customers to customize their own plan by choosing between tiers of accident insurance coverage from $5,000 to $150,000. Critical illness insurance also provides choices in benefit amounts from $5,000 to $50,000. This makes it easy to align coverage with your budget.

In contrast, Aflac uses a more packaged approach with preset plan options. For example, accident insurance is available in Low, Medium, and High tiers of coverage. So while you get less customization freedom, the planning process is simpler.

For vision insurance, MetLife provides the basics like annual eye exams and glasses or contacts. Aflac does not offer routine vision insurance, but provides a vision benefit within its accident plans to treat eye injuries.

Considering Networks

With extensive provider networks, both MetLife and Aflac make it easy to find doctors and facilities that accept your supplemental insurance.

MetLife allows you to look up dentists in your area on their website and also provides out-of-network coverage, usually at a lower reimbursement rate.

Aflac does not provide an online lookup tool for healthcare providers, but they maintain a large network centered around regional and national medical systems. Seeing out-of-network providers means you pay expenses upfront and submit claims for reimbursement.

One advantage Aflac touts is that many of the details of filing claims and tracking reimbursements are handled through your local insurance broker, rather than directly through the company. This provides a more personalized experience.

Also Read: Choose Between AIG And Pacific Life Insurance.

Comparing Costs

On pricing, MetLife tends to offer more budget-friendly options compared to Aflac.

MetLife accident insurance starts at $16/month for the lowest $5,000 tier, while the comparable Aflac tier is $25/month. Cancer insurance also starts at $16/month with MetLife versus $28/month at Aflac.

However, Aflac offers greater simplicity by building in coverage allowances for hospital stays rather than requiring you to purchase separate hospital indemnity insurance.

The bottom line is that MetLife likely makes sense if getting the lowest absolute pricing is your top priority. But with Aflac you benefit from bundled features and localized service through your insurance broker.

Reviewing Ratings

Both insurers are rated as financially stable companies, but Aflac performs better in financial strength assessments.

  • Aflac Ratings
    • A.M. Best: A+ (Superior)
    • Moody’s: A1 (Good)
  • MetLife Ratings
    • A.M. Best: A+ (Superior)
    • Moody’s: Aa3 (Excellent)

In consumer satisfaction, MetLife tends to score higher with a rating of 3/5 from J.D. Power versus 2/5 for Aflac. This suggests MetLife customers are slightly happier with the value they get from their plans.

Considerations By Life Stage

Your current life circumstances can help determine if MetLife or Aflac is a better fit.

For young families, Aflac’s bundled approach makes getting well-rounded coverage simple and straightforward. The upfront price tag is higher, but peace of mind can be worth it.

For middle-aged adults, MetLife provides great flexibility to customize your own plan at the lowest cost. Elect only the pieces of coverage relevant to you.

For empty nesters and seniors, MetLife is ideal for supplementing Medicare. The variety of insurance options allows you to plug gaps in Medicare coverage on a budget.

Also Read: Is Aflac Better Than Colonial Life?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is Aflac’s biggest competitor?

MetLife is Aflac’s largest direct competitor, offering similar supplemental health insurance products. Other top competitors include Globe Life, Mutual of Omaha, and Colonial Life.

Is Aflac really worth it?

Aflac can provide valuable financial protection against injury and illness, but is not the most budget-friendly option. The value comes from Aflac’s specialized expertise in supplemental coverage and hands-on service through local insurance brokers.

What is comparable to Aflac?

MetLife offers very comparable options to Aflac’s accident, critical illness, cancer, hospital indemnity, and disability insurance. Other competitors with similar coverage include Globe Life, Mutual of Omaha, and Colonial Life.

How is Aflac different than regular insurance?

Aflac is considered supplemental insurance, meant to help cover costs that your primary medical insurance does not. It provides cash benefits paid directly to you, rather than paying healthcare providers like regular health insurance.

Also Read: Choose Between Aflac And Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The Bottom Line

When choosing between MetLife Vs. Aflac, there are tradeoffs to consider around flexibility, convenience, pricing, and customer service. Analyze your budget, life stage, and preferences around managing your coverage to determine the right brand for your needs.

For customized and budget-friendly plans, MetLife excels. But Aflac shines when you want an easy bundled approach alongside local support.

Whichever option you choose, having supplemental insurance brings value by protecting your finances from the high costs of medical treatment. With sound financial protection, you gain empowerment to focus on recuperation and living life to the fullest.

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