Association-provided health insurance, a core benefit of American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) membership for nearly 60 years before regulatory changes forced an end to those plans in 2013, will once again be available to AVMA members in several states beginning in July.
Speaking at the 2019 Veterinary Leadership Conference in Chicago, Dr. Joe Kinnarney, chair of AVMA LIFE Trust, announced that the Trust’s development of an association health plan (AHP) for AVMA members is currently underway.
AVMA LIFE—formerly known as AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust (GHLIT)—stopped offering health insurance in 2013 because of provisions in the Affordable Care Act. However, a 2018 regulation by the U.S. Department of Labor made it possible for small businesses to band together through associations (by location or industry) to offer health care insurance for their employees.
Though the situation is complex and the law varies by state, several states will allow AHPs in 2019. The AVMA Trust is developing an AHP program to provide affordable, competitive health insurance to AVMA members and their employees in these states.
"I am so excited to make the first public announcement that AVMA LIFE Trust will begin offering health care plans to our members," said Dr. Joe Kinnarney, chair of AVMA Life. "This is a big win for our members. As the program gradually rolls out, more and more AVMA members will be able to provide competitive benefits to their employees."
On July 1, 2019, the AVMA association health plan will be available to AVMA member practices with between 2 to 50 employees in at least 10 states. The program will build over time.
"Generations of veterinarians benefited from the health insurance program offered as part of their AVMA membership, so it was a major blow when this option was taken away in 2013," said AVMA President Dr. John de Jong. "Now, after years of hard work and advocacy, the AVMA will be able to roll out an association health plan that will benefit many of our members, and we couldn’t be more pleased to once again provide this valuable member resource."
For more information contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA senior media relations specialist, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell), or msanfilippoavma [dot] org (msanfilippo[at]avma[dot]org).