Update on AVMA Medical Insurance: GHLIT Enters Private Exchange Marketplace

We’ve got good news regarding medical insurance from the AVMA’s Group Health and Life Insurance Trust. 

The GHLIT is developing a private exchange program that will help ease your transition to a new medical insurance carrier and focus on your specific needs as a veterinarian. This exchange will allow AVMA members to shop, compare costs and benefits, and ultimately enroll in a medical insurance plan from a medical insurance carrier that best suits your needs. We expect this exchange will be operational in March for individuals who are 65 or will be turning 65 this year, and no later than June for members under age 65. 

We know that the connections you have made with GHLIT insurance agents mean a lot to you. By utilizing the private exchange, you will still be able to work with the agents with whom you have developed a relationship. They were there for you in the past, and they will be there for you in the future. 

Also, we want to assure you that the private insurance exchange, which is exclusively for AVMA members, will continue to meet the requirements of the healthcare reform law by guaranteeing insurance coverage for those who are currently insured through the GHLIT, regardless of any pre-existing medical conditions

Over the coming weeks and months, please visit the AVMA and the GHLIT websites for more information about the private exchange and for updates on the medical plan transition and other health insurance-related news.

41 thoughts on “Update on AVMA Medical Insurance: GHLIT Enters Private Exchange Marketplace

  1. I was hoping to read comments here that would be helpful– maybe a few ideas for group discussion. Instead, there seems to be just a lot of partisan complaining. People, we all have different political views– can we please just stick to the facts and try to come up with a solution. There isn’t really much time on the calendar for whining. We need to come up with a plan.

    • The plan should have been a back up plan prior to the election when the polls showed he would be elected.
      Where was the AVMA with that plan? And where were they during the Obamacare debate? Poll the membership….I bet a vast majority is intelligent enough to realize socialized medicine will affect them adversely. And as to a plan….well that’s simple….find another insurer and I will bet that the premiums will be much higher. Yes, it isn’t whining….it’s political debate so the AVMA doesn’t make more mistakes in the future. A friend found a policy outside that was fairly good. My advice. Forget the AVMA and look around on your own. Most physicians don’t belong to the AMA ….many have told me the don’t agree with their political views which ignore the practitioner.
      Perhaps fewer veterinarians should belong to the AVMA

  2. i have secured insurance privately that is less cost per month and less out of pocket maximum than avma offered. thanks for saving me money by dropping me. reallly! get out there and look for yourself or get a broker.

    • I agree. Political views, what ever they may be, should be set aside so that we can arrive at a solution. Partisan politics seem to only put up roadblocks on the path to a solution because people are too busy fighting with or blaming others with alternative views.

      • Partisan politics is part of the AVMA. Have you noticed how the AVMA has embraced the subversive attempts to inject affirmative action (they call it diversity) into admissions policy.

        • So what if they do have diversity or as you say affirmative action. That has little to do with the loss of health insurance provided by the AVMA

          • I agree with your reasoning about understanding past mistakes in order to make meaningful corrections. However it is really necessary for members to interject their own partisan political beliefs into the discussion. I am willing to put my own political beliefs aside in order to come to listen to others and hopefully come to some sort of solution.

        • So what if they do have diversity or as you say affirmative action. That has little to do with the loss of health insurance provided by the AVMA.

          • It has to do with their reluctance to oppose Obamacare actively and being oblivious to the chance the group’s insurance could be cancelled after Obamacare was passed. They didn’t act. They’re reacting. The AVMA has turned into a bloated ineffectual organization

          • I agree with your point that the AVMA should have been more proactive during the time that the government was crafting the ACA instead of twiddling their thumbs. But again, I do not see why members of the AVMA need to bring partisan politics into the discussion on how to solve our problem with AVMA GHILT.

          • I agree with your point that the AVMA should have been more proactive during the time that the government was crafting the ACA instead of twiddling their thumbs. But again, I do not see why members of the AVMA need to bring partisan politics into the discussion on how to solve our problem with AVMA GHILT. Doing so will only stall meaningful conversation.

          • I used the affirmative action issue as an example of AVMA’s political direction which contributed to the crisis. We need to have changes not so much in the veterinary leadership but in the staffing of the AVMA who have an agenda that has placed us in this mess. Perhaps new blood would find a better answer to the health care mess the current people have created.

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            That’ll happen in the Chicago burb of Schaumburg . ObamaCare’s over and done (and unless congress defunds it), sorry to say Lindsey, all the consensus building and kumbaya in the world won’t change it. Shop for the best deal you can get, scrap your $350 yearly AVMA dues, and Medicare will be here soon enough for us oldsters since there’s no way the Dems will ever cut anything 🙂 For the young ones who voted him in, oops.

  3. NY Life hasn’t helped us out in NJ for years. They wrote us off years ago because we were too expensive; corporate America is only interested in their profits. You can’t convince me otherwise.
    Our healthcare system is broken. I am paying for all the uninsured now with my high health premiums so the current situation is not sustainable. I am also paying for the high cost of unnecessary procedures, drugs (why is Viagra covered, come on?), and people’s poor life style choices. Part of the solution is cutting the cost by making people accountable and not paying for unproven and quality of life care. This means hard choices for basic free care. Whether it is government run like Medicare and Medicaid, and by the way ask seniors, they love Medicare so government is not hated by all. Or whether the uninsured get free care on my back (current condition). If someone wants luxury care they can buy it. I don’t know all the answer and I don’t see any solutions offered here either. Does anyone have a solution? Go ahead, blast me. I know AVMA is right wing! 🙂

    • States such as NJ have high premiums because its citizens are forbidden to buy out of state policies. If insurance companies were allowed to compete and medical malpractice suits were limited the system would improve.
      And by the way, if you haven’t heard, medicare was robbed to pass obamacare. And many physicians are not accepting medicare now. I’m glad I don’t live in NJ.

  4. Although there is no pre-existing exclusions, what will keep the costs down ? What good is insurance if it is not affordable, or predictable. Is there any plan in place if you are under 65 and healthy now, but if you have a major health issue in the next few years, is there anything in place to keep them from raising your premiums individually annually or semi annually ?

  5. This whole issue is overwhelming. Fighting the impending change although difficult I feel is a worthy cause. It seems the government is continually attempting to regulate and restrict our cherished freedoms and rights, especially in this administration.
    On a personal, individual level I’m confused as to the approach I should consider. I’ve as yet to really need or use my insurance. Now as age is creeping up the wear of work and time is taking its toll. Do I cram everthing in this year while I still have our current policy or do I wait and see what the future holds with the new choices available? Will anything that becomes part of my medical history from this year cause the new policies available to skyrocket in cost? Is there any reward for the last 20 years of good health to be credited towards a new policy? Opinions and recommendations would be be greatly appreciated from those that have more insight into this dilemma than I.
    I have never missed voting in an election since I became old enough to vote. It is not a previledge I take lightly. It is still important to make our representatives aware of our position and keep telling them.

    • Val, I’d recommend getting anything you need done this year before ObamaCare hits. We joked that 61 yo DH was getting rebuilt before ObamaCare (new hip, 2 new knees) but it was only half-joking. Hopefully we turn out to be wrong but one worry was that coverage for such procedures would be limited under OC or that whatever we wind up with won’t include Don’s Scripps doctors who’ve nursed him through lung lymphoma & COPD to the point we were able to ride bicycles coast-to-coast last year (the new parts worked great!). We also had concern that adding people to the rolls with no accompanying increase in doctor numbers (and perhaps, a doctor exodus due to OC), would create waits and /or rationing. YMMV.

      • Yes, you are correct. I predict a two tiered system developing after Obamacare produces waiting periods and poor care (check out the NYC municipal hospitals and Canada). The Mayo Clinic or Cleveland clinic or some other entities will set up clinics in some Carribean Island where the “rich” can fly to in a few hours and receive good pay for service care (wouldn’t it be ironic if Cuba turned out to be the venue?). And of course, the policiticians in Washington will still get first rate care in first rate government hospitals in DC. Perhaps the AVMA will develope a deal with one of the carribean clinics to fly members there when they need their hip or knee done. Unfortunately if you have an acute epidural hematoma you’ll die before you get there.

  6. As a relatively young and very healthy(currently) veterinarian, I am inclined to stop paying for insurance. I am considering paying uncle barry’s fine and seeing how universal healthcare works out. It makes me want to puke… but I do pay my taxes. If some financial advisor could show me a plan that I could seperate and protect my business from my healthcare liability (future if/when I get hurt) I would consider this. It’s rotten, I know… when in Rome do as the Romans. I haven’t the time or will to fight the idiots in city hall or d.c. I can only ride the wave of America… or should I say Flush.

    • Eric you saying you don’t have the time or will to fight DC is the epitome of the problem if the younger generation doesn’t get a grip and the time and will to fight this ship is sunk!!!!!!
      My heart grieves for the future and you T’s should be longer than mine if you are young and healthy. I’m healthy but an older generation of which I’m proud to be a member.

  7. Has anyone thought about letting news outlets (examples: Wall Street journal, New York Times, NBC news, Fox News, etc) know about our insurance conundrum? Maybe with international recognition of our problem, another insurance underwriter might step up to the plate?

  8. Might as well roll over and accept the new healthcare order. Sorry, there was no doubt this would happen when we (a majority of Americans) voted for the powers that made it law. Just thank (or whatever) those in the majority as it usually rules and certainly has on this healthcare issue. Just remember “If you like your present HealthCare plan you can keep it.” Yea, Right.
    Gary Cotton, DVM

    • It was all part of the plan…”If you like your present HealthCare plan you can keep it.” If it is such a good plan, why won’t he subject himself to it?

      And yes, any of us who own private practices know that the free market keeps prices competitive. By lifting the ban on purchasing out of state policies, there would be affordable products…but then again, the goal of our current administration is to make us all dependent upon the government for our every need. Isn’t there a word for that???

      • Yes, you are correct. And where was the leadership in the AVMA when the ACA was under debate? the AVMA should have opposed it. Like the AMA and the AARP the leadership doesn’t represent the views of the members.

  9. Wow! Another big group that has succumbed to Big Brother! It is bad enough that Big Brother is attacking our freedom, our religion, and our economy!! Now we don’t even have a health insurance plan!! I am tired of working to pay for entitlements and then have to give up the security of our hard earned insurance. Come on AVMA let’s get tough and quit kissin up. Veterinarians need and deserve better!!

  10. Group policies are a thing of the past with the passing of Obamamcare. The AVMA-GHLIT as we knew it, would have had to make available to ALL people, not just veterinarians and their families, health insurance if they wanted a policy. Since NewYork Life is not able to make (or has chose not to make) health insurance available to ALL people seeking insurance they have to quit providing service to us. Good luck to all.

    • So how does the AARP manage to provide to a large group????
      I’m so disappointed that the AVMA is going to the “exchange ” how will it be any different than the Feds ?

      • As for the AARP………..follow the money. They were instrumental in the writing of the law.

        As for the AVMA………..One should choose fights carefully and thoughtfully. Suicide (figuratively) missions are rarely in the best interest of large group.

      • The AARP backed Obamacare and it was written in a manner to protect them. The AARP makes tons of money selling health insurance. Come-on….Washington is more corrupt than ever….look at this guy who will probably be confimed as Treasury Secretary…Jack Lew. When questioned before Congress about his ridiculous severance pay from Citigroup and as President of NYU he said “I don’t recall” . When one is being deposed lawyers will tell you to avoid perjury by saying “I don’t recall”. The AVMA is small potatoes and has little clout in that cesspool inside the beltway. We were screwed. plain and simple. And since our offices are outside of Chicago I would be a majority of the staff voted for Obama. This didn’t help in opposing Obamacare either.

      • AARP may be able keep their group policy because their underwriter most likely already provides health insurance to many different people, not just AARP members. NewYork Life deals mainly in life insurance and made a group health policy available to the AVMA. They don’t want to provide health insurance for everyone in all 50 states so that’s why they won’t be our underwriter. I was hoping there was another company that would be willling to underwrite our group rather than placing us in the exchange market. But when I talked with a representative from AVMA-GHLIT last week, it was my understanding that affiliation group policies won’t exist due to the law.

    • You seem to be under a couple of misassumptions. First, that AVMA-GHLIT was a “group” policy. Had you turned 65 and tried to keep your policy (if you were still working), you would have been informed by AVMA-GHLIT that you were not under a group plan, rather an “individual plan with group prices”. Therefore, you could have kept your plan, but incurred the 10% annual penalty on Medicare premiums when you eventually enrolled because you were not in a group plan. In other words, as you enter a higher risk category, we don’t want you. Second, you, and many of the commenters, seem to be under the misapprehension that New York Life, and by extension, all private insurance companies, are looking out for your interests, and that the federal government, in the form of the ACA is not. Rest assured, New York Life’s allegiance is to it’s shareholders and to it’s executive bonuses and decidedly not to you. Ergo, when it became apparent that they would have to cover people who might actually get sick, they were on the first bus out of town. The Affordable Care Act (or pejoratively, “Obamacare”) despite its flaws, at least will not do that.

      • I’m glad you have so much faith in the ACA. It seems the veterinarians covered under the NY Life policy had few complaints. Let’s see how your assessment of our benign Federal Government holds up in a few years. Forcing companies to insure people with pre-existing conditions at low rates will doom private insurance. Allowing someone to purchase insurance after they become sick is a surefire way to kill the insurance model (I crashed my car and need collision insurance after the fact). This is the goal of the ACA …….. to provide government controlled health care after the system collapses.. My wife is a child neurologist and tells stories of children with brain tumors who come here from Canadian health care(socialized) to avoid a long waiting time for surgery. Frequently the parents are told that if they had waited in line in Canada their child would not have survived. I have no problem with an insurance company making profits. I assume you would rather we veterinarians should condemn profits and all work for the government.

        • The government goal is to collapse the current system so they can eventually get everyone into a single payer system. Otherwise the penalty for not having insurance would be greater than the cost of an insurance plan, not the other way around. Your employer drops you because the penalty is less expensive so the only place to turn is the government plan. Welcome to the USSR. I didn’t vote for this regime, so when they bend me over, I’ll have a clean conscience…….

  11. I must Agre with Dr. Loeven we stand a better chance of getting a reasonably priced Health insurance by negotiating as a large group instead of going into the exchange suggested.

  12. This is a terrible idea!!! It basically throws us to the lions. I would think we would be much better positioned to negotiate as a larger group rather than as individuals/families via an exchanghe. Although Obamacare prevents DENIAL of coverage for pre-existing conditions, it is my understanding that policies could still be priced based on these conditions. I would also assume that, in this exchange, policies would be indivdually underwritten rather than providing the more traditional group insurance open enrollment periods not subject to the former.

  13. Hello. I thought that I had understood that the AVMA was bringing a lawsuit to fight the legality of Obamicare forcing the AVMA GHLIT to allow non-AVMA member to purchase insurance, thus effectively shutting down our medical insurance. Is this true?

    Also, I would recommend a cost saving move for the AVMA, so that it could funnel funds to support the lawsuit, if it exists. Currently we receive a Journal twice a month. Most practitioners are overburdened with keeping up the reading of Journals and CE.

    I would suggest decreasing publication and mailing of the AVMA Journal to once a month, and use the money savings to assist in the lawsuit, or else use it to assist in the AVMA’s efforts to help its members deal with Obamicare and the loss of their insurance.

    Cheri Lewis, DVM

    • Good luck, the bureaucracy at the AVMA is dependent on your dues. Cutting costs means laying off people.
      Like other governing bodies, they will find an excuse to justify their existence.
      Otherwise your idea makes much sense. Most veterinarians don’t care about the pictures of the South Idaho
      Reptile Veterinarians conference or the latest conference to promote diversity (read affirmative action). Most of the articles have little relevance to the general practitioners and are published for academic purposes. Once a month is more than enough. I read the Obituaries to see who died and the abstracts. It gets into the circular file rapidly.

    • Great idea to cut publication of JAVMA to once a month. Not a big fan of your partisan funneling suggestion, though. Anyway – fondest regards to “Lambchop”.

      • I don’t know if partisan described it properly…ill-advised would be a better characterization. As we saw with
        the Roberts prestidigitation, you cannot count on the legal system. It would be a waste of money. The purpose of Obamacare was to devise a system that would send the insurance companies into bankrupcy. AT that point the Federal Government will ride in and nationalize it. Unfortunately, the voting public wasn’t sharp enough to appreciate this and voted for Obama for absurd reasons such as the propaganda that Romney was going to take away their birth control pills. Non Illigitimi Carborundum.