Many AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust medical plan participants will receive a financial reward for their health care decisions that helped the Trust control costs over the past year. The Trust also announced that its cost containment efforts mean that there will be no rate increases for many GHLIT medical plans—a move that counters the national mean premium increase of 10 percent across all plan types reported by Compdata Surveys in 2009 Compensation Data Insurance.
Acknowledging participants' efforts, the board of trustees authorized issuance of a premium credit to active GHLIT medical plan insureds who were AVMA members covered from May 1, 2008-April 30, 2009. The credit is equal to 5 percent of the insured's annualized premium based on eligibility information as of August 2009. It will be credited on November premium invoices.
"The trustees, with the help of plan participants, have focused on controlling claims for the past several years. This premium credit is proof of the success of those ongoing partnership efforts and that individuals really can make a difference in controlling health care costs," said Dr. Robert L. Hatch, chair of the AVMA GHLIT board of trustees. "A combination of factors helped us contain costs, the most important of which was the wise health care decisions made by plan participants over the past year."
GHLIT's success in containing costs is impressive in light of findings by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute that private-sector medical costs would grow by 9.6 percent. The following factors contributed to the Trust's successful cost management efforts:
Increased use of physicians and facilities in the Aetna Signature Administrators network, which provided a substantial discount on billed charges and benefited both the Trust and participants.
Increased use of generic prescription medications and mail-order prescriptions, which decreased the overall claims cost for prescription drugs.
Increased enrollment in qualified high-deductible/consumer-driven Health Savings Account medical plans.
In addition to the one-time premium credit, the Trust announced that rates for many GHLIT medical plans will remain the same until at least May 1, 2010.* This marks the second consecutive year that the Trust's cost containment efforts have resulted in no premium increases.
"The Trust's mission has always been to manage health care costs while still providing the high-quality care and benefits that plan participants have come to expect from GHLIT. When costs are contained, everyone wins," Dr. Hatch said. "The premium credit is one way we can thank our participants for doing their share to help us achieve that mission."
The AVMA GHLIT insurance program is underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company (New York, NY 10010). For more information, including benefits, plan details, rates, exclusions, limitations, and eligibility and renewal provisions, or to find a GHLIT agent, call the Trust office at (800) 621-6360 or visit www.avmaghlit.org.
*Insureds who are moving to the next 5-year age band will see an increase in their annual premium.