September 26, 2015
Many years ago, I went on a life-changing journey through South America. I was visiting both Peru and Bolivia — two countries that had been on my Bucket List for what seemed like forever. In my mind, because I had planned everything so perfectly, nothing could go wrong.
No one ever thinks the worst could happen to them, especially when you are in your twenties. You think you are invincible! Unfortunately, everything can change in a second, like it did for me. I had just visited Machu Picchu and was scheduled to fly from Cusco, Peru to La Paz, Bolivia, however my flight was canceled. In order to avoid spending the night in Cusco and missing my train to Salar de Uyuni the next day, I decided to be rerouted through Lima with a 12 hour layover. My travel partner and I thought it was good fortune, because we had wanted to visit Lima, except we could not fit it into our packed schedule. Now the Universe had fit it in for us! The second we arrived in Lima, we threw our luggage in some airport lockers and took a taxi immediately to the center of town. We were going to explore as much as we possibly could in those 12 short hours. In the center of the town, stands a magnificent church called the Cathedral of Lima. We decided that would be our first stop. I walked up the stairs in the front of the church to take some photos. When I turned around to say something to my travel partner, I slipped, fell down the stairs, and felt incredible pain in my ankle. I knew in my gut that I had broken it. I sat and cried, as everyone around me tried to console me. How could I be so careless; I was beyond furious with myself!
We hailed a taxi and asked the driver to take us to the nearest hospital. An x-ray at the hospital confirmed the worst, it was broken, and it was broken bad. I refused to cancel the rest of my trip due to my mistake, so the doctors put a heavy-duty cast on my leg until I could have surgery back in the States. For the next week, I had to get around the dessert of Bolivia with crutches, meanwhile I was suffering from major altitude sickness. Thankfully, I was so enamored by my surroundings, that I was able to survive the hellish week.
This experience made me for the first time in my life realize how important and essential insurance plans are and not just because I was left with hundreds of dollars of medical bills. Accidents happen all of the time and they can happen to anyone. One of the best companies on the market today for reliable and affordable insurance plans is Aflac.
The fall marks open enrollment season, a time when workers can review their employer-sponsored benefits offerings and choose the health insurance policies that best meet their financial and health care needs. Although selecting the right health care benefits may be one of the most important decisions Americans will make all year, an Aflac survey found that many workers do very little research to learn which plans and products really work best for them. In fact, 34% of employees spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options in 2014. Those who do not set aside time to research their insurance options often end up with inadequate health care protection for themselves and their families. Please do not make the same mistake I made all those years ago. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 80 million injury-related visits to doctors’ offices, hospital outpatient departments, and emergency-treatment facilities in the U.S. each year. Accident insurance helps provide everyday financial protection in the event of a covered accident. Benefits are paid for things like: x-rays, physical therapy, appliances, emergency treatment, and more. Make researching, planning, and choosing the right insurance plan for you your #1 priority this fall. Just remember different generations have different health care needs that reflect their life stages. Many of today’s families are also spanning more generations than in the past, which means one-size-fits-all benefits options are not enough anymore. For instance, the type of benefits options a young, single employee needs are significantly different than those for an employee who is supporting multiple dependents or facing more health issues due to advanced age. That is where voluntary insurance helps, since it allows employees to select voluntary policies that best suit their own needs, as well as the needs of any dependents they may have. When an unforeseen medical event occurs, many people are often faced with paying copayments, deductibles, or treatment costs not covered by major medical insurance, as well as other daily living expenses – all while paying increasing health insurance premiums.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.