MEABT Health Insurance is Better
8 Reasons the MEA Benefit Trust Health Insurance is BetterMaine School Management engineered a legislative assault on the MEA Benefit Trust because it can not provide health insurance plans that compete with the Trust plans. Here are eight reasons why the Benefit Trust is far better:
- The MEA Benefit Trust is run by and for members. Always has been, always will be. The Trust is non-profit and has some of the lowest administrative costs in the insurance business.
- MEA health plans have been in existence for almost 60 years and our history and large, stable insurance pool of nearly 70,000 educators and family members provide us with the best experience ratings and rates.
- MEA health plans have been consistently rated as among the very best for providing high quality coverage at affordable rates. Some school districts have tried competing plans by Maine School Management Association and they always come back because MSMA’s plans were inadequate or failed.
- The Trust currently offers one, unified statewide plan. Our plans cost the same and provide the same coverage in Ft. Kent as they do in Portland. Retirees have the same rates and coverage as active educators.
- All districts share the risks and share the benefits. If one district has a catastrophic illness, their premiums do not spike because other districts share the burden. In 2010, more than 700 individuals each cost the plan more than $25,000 and 30 cost more than $500,000 each. One or more of those claims would have demolished smaller plans.
- Our long-standing relationship with Anthem-Blue Cross-BlueShield gives the Trust a unique economic advantage. As their largest client on the East Coast, we hold administrative costs to 7%, as compared to 15% – 18% for small plans. Anthem refunds to the Trust a portion of any premiums that are collected but not used. That money goes into a special reserve, called a Rate Stabilization Fund.
- The Trust uses the Rate Stabilization Fund as a reserve against catastrophic claims and corresponding rate spikes. The reserve fund is used to reduce or “buy down” rates for members in the annual negotiations with Anthem. Over the last five years, the Trust used $63.2 million out of this fund to reduce costs and stabilize premiums – these are rate increases that members and taxpayers never saw.
- Exceptional, personal service and a long history of working with and advocating for educators. These include wellness programs, nurse coaching for chronic health conditions, free second opinions, and free nurse consultations by phone.
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