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Its All About Value

Affordable Health Care Coverage? It’s all about Value!

For many, our first thoughts regarding health care coverage are usually about the cost of health care coverage. When we become sick or injured our thoughts quickly change to coverage and how our health plan will respond to the potentially overwhelming costs associated with hospital stays, specialized doctor visits, associated tests, or specialized prescriptions.

Association Master Trust (AMT), a not for profit, multiple employer, self-funded benefits Trust created to address the health care coverage needs of its participating employers. While AMT’s roots go back to 1945, AMT is currently as popular as ever offering benefit plans to employer member participants from fifteen different NJ trade associations. Employer participation in AMT has grown by 7% over this year to more than 1500 employers. Employee enrollment is up as well with enrollment exceeding 18,000 members.

AMT’s popularity lies within its structure. Its not for profit approach directs its resources towards benefits to members, not shareholders or brokers. AMT offers an extremely wide choice of benefit plan options and contracts with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ for access to not only the NJ provider network but also to the National Blue Cross Blue Shield network of medical providers (over 750,000 providers nationally). AMT’s service to its members is truly exceptional. Lastly, AMT offers very competitive pricing that is usually less when compared to like benefit plans (“apples to apples” comparisons).

While no one likes to see rate increases the realities of healthcare continues to demand increased funding and higher rates. Fortunately for AMT members, average rate increases have been in the single digits (6.4%, 6.5%, and 9.8%) over the past three years while pricing in the insured small group market continues to soar. In 2014 alone the insured small group market saw astounding health plan increases partly due to new rating methodology as well as fees and taxes brought forth under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It wasn’t surprising to see 40% increases in the insured small group market in 2014. AMT’s average increase of 9.8% (note that approximately 3% of the increase was dedicated to ACA taxes and fees) once again speaks well of the program and let’s not forget about the dividend!

For the third year in a row AMT has issued a dividend credit to eligible employers participating in the plan. The 4% credit (for 2013 plan year) was issued on the July 2014 statement and was well received by our members. Over the last three years, AMT has returned 12% of contributions (premium) to members. In the conventional insured market, these funds would likely be retained by the carrier as profit. At AMT, unallocated surplus (profit) is usually returned to eligible participating members at the Trustee’s discretion.

So it’s all about value and wise choices and we believe that AMT represents both. We encourage your participation in the plan. If you are not currently with AMT you should take a look at what it can offer. If you are participating but haven’t looked at newer plan designs in a while you should. They can save you money while continuing to offer solid benefits.

Great rates, coverage and service; and a health plan run by members for members. Contact AMT today at (973) 379-1090 or info@amt-nj.com and see how the Association Master Trust can work for you.

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