The AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust has switched its preferred provider organization from Aetna Signature Administrators to UnitedHealthcare Options PPO Network.
In separating from Aetna Inc., the GHLIT also has discontinued an arrangement with Aetna to promote pet health insurance. Aetna is the underwriter for Pets Best Insurance Services LLC.
Elizabeth L. Wallace, GHLIT chief executive officer, spoke about the changes while providing a brief update about the Trust to the AVMA House of Delegates in January. She also discussed the effects of health care reform on the GHLIT (see JAVMA, Dec. 15, 2010, page 1343).
The impetus for the switch in PPO networks, effective Jan. 1, was savings for the Trust and for plan participants.
"We hope to earn significant savings, which will help mitigate any kind of premium increases in the future," Wallace said.
After the HOD session, Wallace told JAVMA News, "The GHLIT still believes that pet insurance is good for pets and the veterinary practices that treat pets, and we will continue to spread that message to veterinarians."
The Trust's website at www.avmaghlit.org provides details about the UnitedHealthcare Options PPO and about the effects of health care reform on GHLIT insurance plans.
In a separate change, the GHLIT has extended the hours for its primary telephone number, (800) 621-6360, to 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Central on Mondays through Thursdays and 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Central on Fridays.