Life Insurance? Aflac? I Spend Our $ on Health Insurance

Updated on October 18, 2011
M.N. asks from Charlotte, NC
17 answers

We all have health insurance, but none of us have Aflac or life insurance. My friend told me she spends hundreds a month on Aflac and life insurance and if I don't buy it soon, we will be too old. She has $500,000 on her husband who earns a bit over $30,000. She earns $35.000 and has a $250,000 policy. She has $100,000 each on her minor children. She gave up health insurance except on the kids who have a policy through work that has copays so she took them off their medicines and doesn't go to the doctor anymore.
We honestly don't want to spend $250 a month extra. I won't sacrifice health insurance because I think it is too important. We are also trying to focus on staying healthy, eating at home, exercising and playing more, and preventing disease. We live in a plain house that is paid off now and live on cash only. We could live on either salary and are banking my paycheck. Are we making a mistake? We have a college fund for our child that could be cashed out if she passed away(GOD FORBID).

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

We are going to get an appointment to see what the rates are. Thanks Ladies.

More Answers


answers from San Francisco on

You need life insurance on you and your husband. (However, life insurance on children is silly - you don't insure liabilities, and in a financial sense, that's what children are.) If you are banking your paycheck, go out right now and get quotes from several good companies for term life insurance. Make sure the policies are renewable and convertible (meaning you can renew them at the end of the term). The reason I say this is: imagine (god forbid) that your husband were run over by a bus tomorrow. Could you afford to stay in your home, feed your kids, and send them to college one day without your husband? Likewise, could he afford to raise the kids without you? Consider that for the surviving spouse, the child care costs would increase. Figure out how much money it would take to raise your kids to adulthood with you or your spouse missing, plus how much it would take to maintain your current lifestyle (mortgage payments, car maintenance, all that good stuff) and that's the life insurance you need. Since we live in an expensive area, I have $1 million life insurance and my husband (who makes less than I do) has $750K life insurance. We have the peace of mind knowing that if anything happens to either one of us, the other person will not be out on the street with the kids.

That being said, while life insurance is mission-critical to anyone who has kids, health insurance is mission-critical to anyone who owns anything (house, car, money in savings or retirement funds). All it takes is one medical mishap, and you're setting yourself up to lose everything you own. It's sad that our medical system is for-profit like this, but unfortunately health insurers have a bigger lobby than us little peons. :-/

I don't know... for me, personally, I believe you should absolutely have both health and life insurance. (Aflac is optional.)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I can't imagine why anyone would have life insurance on their children. The point of life insurance is to cover a person's salary so their family's way of life doesn't suffer. And Aflac is an OK idea if you're living on the edge and would need a supplemental source of income if the major wage earner lost their job. But if you're banking one of your salaries, then you already have this cushion in place.

I do think that life insurance for the major wage earner or both parents if they're both wage earners is a good idea. But there's no reason why you have to do it today versus next year if you don't have the money right now.

Bottom line is that health insurance provides a value on a day to day basis, and life insurance provides a value in the unlikely event that a wage earner dies. If you can, it's good to have both. But if you can only have one - health insurance is the way to go!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Look at level term insurance. 10X your annual salary for you and 10X your husband's salary for him. Should be under 30-40 per month. Her insurance is not wort anything unless someone is dead. Neither is term, but it's cheaper and the theory is that if you invest 10-20x your husband's salary that you'll get if he dies (sorry) you can invest it and replace roughly his income from the investment rendering your cash flow the same--with or without him. With the money you $ave over your friend, save for retirement and funeral expenses and you won't *need* life insurance after you're done with your earning years.
Bottom line: she's misguided.

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answers from Dallas on

You dont have to choose one or the other. A 250,000 policy on a 30 yr old man would be around $20 a month. Even less for a women. That's one less pizza night a month. You can make it on one income for a little while if one of you is off work for a surgery or illness, but if one of you were to pass away, there will be burial expenses, you will want to take a significant amount of time off to be with your children and grieve. You will want to make sure the kids can stay in the family home and go to the same school. AS long as you have homeowners debt, at the very least get some life insurance.

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answers from Charlotte on

to those of you who said she and her husband need life insurance, CORRECT. See a registered Insurance broker to see exactly what you need, how much and rates. for those of you who said you don't get life insurance on your children (because they are liabilities) WOW!!! Just WOW!!! I have insured both my kids for 100k a piece. Think about this. are you going right back to work after you LOOSE A CHILD?!?!?! Um, NO. Not to mention I have AMAZING policies on the kids for $25 a month. They are variable and have a cash value and that can be used for collage or for whatever when they get older. Bottom line. Talk to an insurance professional or a financial advisor, but yes, YES you all need life insurance. You insure your car, your home, your health, why wouldn't you insure your most valuable asset, YOUR LIFE!!

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answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't say you are making a mistake but I will say she is. She is giving up health insurance in place of life insurance? Seems like she is too focused on their deaths than on their lives. If I were her, like you, if I had to choose between life insurance and health insurance I would choose health insurance. Sounds like she need to rethink this. She can get cheaper life insurance policies, ones with lower payouts until she can afford the others. Sounds like she has her piriorities mixed up.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Why do they have so much?

Our life insurance policies each cover mortgage and funeral expenses. You can choose to do more...but if what you can afford is smaller payments then go this route. Our life insurance polices total for each of us don't exceed $60 a month.

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answers from New York on

Life insurance, if you are young, should not be more than $30 a month.
Just go back to 9/11/2001. If something were happen to your husband,
would you be able to just continue life as it was? Probably not. Life insurance is so worth it. You do not have to give up health insurance to have life insurance. For our kids, we did one of those Gerber type insurances very inexpensive if you want an insurance policy on child.

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answers from Phoenix on

Hi M., I'm an insurance agent in AZ selling mostly home/auto but also health and life. My husband has sold Aflac for 12 years and is one of the top agents in AZ. DO NOT EVER cancel your medical insurance!!!! As far as Aflac goes, it pays you cash whether you have insurance or not. For example, we have the accident plan. My hubby fell during skating with the kids and cracked his head open, needed 5 staples. We paid $200 for the office visit to Urgent Care. Aflac paid us $385. So its a "supplimental insurance" to help fill in the "gap" that your health insurance may not cover. Or help if you don't have insurance at all. As far as life insurance goes, you have to think if your husband died, would you be able to live without his salary? If not, you need life insurance. Its basically as simple as that. And I personally believe in life insurance for the kids. If something were to happen to one of them, 3 days funeral leave would not be enough for me and I would need help financially to make it thru that time. That is what life insurance is for..loss of income when there is a death. Look, the bottom line is we could all get crazy getting all kinds of insurance (and some of us do because we know and understand the benefit of it) but you have to be realistic on what your family needs and can afford. If you need more info, just message me. I hope this helps. Good luck.

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answers from Cleveland on

Both my husband and I have term life insurance through our employers but nothing else on my husband as I make substantially more than he does. Your house is paid off etc so I don't think it's a slam dunk you should get life insurance. We have a small whole life policy on me given I'm the larger wage earner and at least with whole life, you're building value. I'm not an insurance expert and whole life is still "spending" money as it's not like you get to bank your premiums but you do at least get some of it back if you want to cash out. I view term life like rent and whole life like a pretty pour returning savings account but with interest rates where they are now, not like you're making safe interest income that is substantial. Keeping health insurance is way more important though.

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answers from Dallas on

I actually have some great benefits for my job. I do have health insurance on my whole family, in addition I have life and AD&D insurance on everyone. I can only have $10,000 on family members but I can have more on me. So I have 3 X my salary on both. The life and AD&D insurance is less than $5.00 a month. If someone dies in my family, I'll have enough to bury them, if I die, they will have a little extra... My husband will have to get a job after 2 months or get remarried...LOL

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answers from Boston on

Your friend is a total idiot to give up health insurance. Really, that's just beyond stupid. So is insuring her children (more on that later). absolutely NEED life insurance. Decent term policies for yourself and your husband, assuming that you are reasonably young, are in reasonably good health and don't have dangerous careers or hobbies, should run hundreds of dollars maybe up to around $1000 a year combined for both of you, not per month. Term life policies on people with young children typically cover anywhere from $200K to $1M depending on the circumstances. You can usually purchase a single rider of about $10K that would cover the death of a child and that coverage is like $1 a month on top of the regular policies. It makes sense to have a small amount of coverage to cover funeral expenses and extended time out of work to grieve the loss of a child but $100K is ridiculous.

It's not an either/or proposition. Of course you need to keep your health insurance, but do shop around for term life. It will not cost you hundreds and hundreds per month for the kind of coverage you need and will ensure that if either you or your husband passes away while your children are young, they will be taken care of financially.

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answers from New York on

First of all I would never sacrifice health insurance. You never know when you will be sick or an injury can occur.

When it comes to life insurance on children, most will agree that it's not needed. Here's my opinion, if something should happen to your child would you be able to pay for the funeral expenses? If yes, then you do not need life insurance of your child.

Disability insurance (Aflac has these policies and many health insurance policies include it, you can also add it to your mortgage and credit cards). If one of you becomes unable to work, can you live on one salary for a period of time? Since you're banking your check, then I would think that you do not need this type of insurance.

Life insurance on you and hubby. Look at the whole picture. If something happens, is there money for funeral expenses? Who will take care of your children and do they have the finances to do that? Here's how I looked at it, if something happened to one of us, we would need enough to cover funeral expenses and pay off debt. The surivor would be able to easily live off their salary without having to make mortage and car payments. My inlaws would raise my minor children and they have the finances to do so, but I would still want to make sure there was extra. They would also have a nice sum after our house was sold.

So to answer your question, "are we making a mistake"? My answer would be yes. Since you can aford to bank a paycheck and put away for a college fund, you could easily afford a small term policy.

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answers from Washington DC on

Holy cow!!! She's spending HUNDREDS a month and that's all she's getting?!?! Whatever you do, don't use the company she uses! I've also never understood the need for life insurance for a child. The only people who NEED life insurance are people who have dependents (mom and dad) If your child dies, you will not go into financial ruin. But if you or your spouse (or both) dies, there needs to be some money for the kids and/or surviving spouse (especially in the case of a SAHM or whatever)

I actually just asked a question about life insurance a couple months ago because it was time to renew our policy. What we ended up getting was a $1 million dollar policy on my husband for $647 per year for 20 years. $100K on me for $115 per year for 20 years. Hundreds per month?? So not necessary. But, if you have a minor living on you and depending on you, you definitely NEED life insurance.

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answers from Cincinnati on

We have life insurance on my husband but don't have health insurance. Health insurance through his company is $100 a week. Life is about $3 (This is for the $10,000 policy and the $20,000 supplement life insurance) I am a stay at home mom and if something did happen to my hubby I don't have a back up income to support us while I find a job and child care.

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answers from San Francisco on

IMO, if you're banking your paycheck, then you can afford some insurance. I would get life insurance just to help with the final expenses, burial costs, and to be able to take time off after my spouse passed because I know I wouldn't be any good to anyone for quite some time! If I had the income, I would definitely buy life insurance!

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answers from Kansas City on

There are many types of insurance plans, for health and life. Some of the life insurances are more like a "savings" that actually has cash or surrender value and also the death benefit. Some are so that you or the child can borrow the cash value, pay it back and still have the death benefit.
An agent that I know and trust, told me that with children, you are sort of buying "INSURABILITY". He said, for example, a child that is diagnosed as a "juvenile diabetic", cannot get life insurance as they are high risk. If the child is insured prior to the diagnosis, he can continue with insurance, no problem.
With experience of being disabled more than once in my life, insurance has been a "godsend". I also believe in mortgage and credit disability on large purchases like house or car. During one disability period of three years, insurance paid my house payment during that time when my income was down, and another time, my car payments were paid.
Also during disability and after COBRA was exhausted, I was UN-insurable for any back problem that I had, so the only way I could get coverage for anything was a $5000 deductible and the premiums were over $700 a month, that is almost like no insurance because to get coverage, I would have had to pay out nearly $6000 out of pocket, to get any benefit. (fortunately, I got my health back and got off disability, and have insurance through my job)
I have checked into obtaining a policy on my 2 year old grandson that will gain equity, have money for college and have a death benefit and has better growth rate than the bank offers. The plans I am looking into are $1 to $2 a day.......(for his birthday, I give him a dollar a day for life, that is $365 per year and baby number 2 is now on the way).
One of the biggest reasons for bankruptcy and foreclosures are health expenses. One catastrophic illness could wipe out everything in a matter of hours for some people. One little accident or a surgery gone wrong can change your life and your financial picture in a heartbeat.
Just think, a maimed or disabled child could force one parent at least to give up a job to be a fulltime caregiver, not to mention therapy, rehab, medications, endless Dr. bills. Insurance would look pretty cheap in a situation like that.
Some insurances have $million dollar caps, and I have known many whose health issues have far exceeded that. Cancer treatment, organ transplants, bone marrow transplants, etc. Many of those things have to have some payment up front to be eligible.
Insurance is a big decision, but there are so many options, there is no obligation to check out the best policy. Seeing it on paper, one can compare.

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