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NAW Wants to Educate Members on Health Insurance Plan

Health insurance through associations seems to be a hot topic lately. The Industrial Supply Association just announced a partnership with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors to provide health insurance options to its members. The program actually has been in place since January of 2008 but this new initiative creates a co-branding experience that will improve access to information for all members of ISA.
 
A recent article on WSJ.com points out that many associations are looking for ways to provide this service to their members. The problem in many cases is that the insurance is actually being sold through bogus or phony associations and the ...

Health insurance through associations seems to be a hot topic lately. The Industrial Supply Association just announced a partnership with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors to provide health insurance options to its members. The program actually has been in place since January of 2008 but this new initiative creates a co-branding experience that will improve access to information for all members of ISA.
 
A recent article on WSJ.com points out that many associations are looking for ways to provide this service to their members. The problem in many cases is that the insurance is actually being sold through bogus or phony associations and the coverage received -and the recourse if the consumer is wronged in any way -is less than adequate. The author cautions consumers to do their homework before buying into an association plan.
 
That’s not to say that the ISA/NAW program falls into this category. In fact, George Valiga, vice president of Business Services for NAW, says in order to set up the program, the association had to “get by the sins of earlier programs.”He says the NAW has been working extensively with the insurance commissioners of each state where the coverage is available, which is also the reason why coverage is only available in 35 states so far. The association continues to work with the remaining states to assure that the program complies with each state’s regulatory standards.
 
The ISA/NAW Health Insurance Program is part of a trust created to allow participating organizations to obtain coverage under a single insurance policy, with the NAW Board of Directors serving as trustees. In addition to covering day-to-day claim activity, the trust creates a reserve fund to be used only for the benefit of participants, Valiga says. But companies must maintain association membership to keep the benefits.
 
Valiga agrees that homework needs to be done whenever health care and health insurance is involved -a key reason the NAW is reaching out to other organizations like ISA to co-brand the program and help with the education and marketing aspects of the program. The associations want to make that homework easier at a time when nothing about health care is easy.
 
NAW encompasses more than 100 national wholesale distribution associations and about 30 regional, state and local distribution associations.

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