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Law firms of all sizes face challenges in offering their employees affordable health insurance. After receiving insurance-related inquiries from many members, the ISBA has partnered with Mercer, a national employee benefit consulting firm, to explore the possibility of offering an association health plan (AHP) for members. Creating an association health plan could allow members that are smaller employers to obtain coverage on terms similar to those currently available to larger employers.
As a first step in this process, the ISBA must gather relevant data about its membership and is thus requesting that all members complete a short census questionnaire. The data collected via this census will be used to obtain quotes from multiple, large-group health insurance carriers.
Note: The Census Tool works best with the following web browsers: Chrome; Safari; and Internet Explorer. If you would like to use Firefox and experience issues, please contact the help desk for assistance.
The first step in this process is to collect information from all ISBA members, regardless of whether they plan to participate in a potential association health plan.
Our goal is to gather information about you and your employees. The information will be used exclusively for obtaining a competitive health care and benefits program from select insurance carriers and evaluating the feasibility of an association health plan offering.
Providing this information does not obligate you or your organization to participate. A comprehensive response from you and your peers will help the ISBA obtain the most competitive offering possible while accurately gauging the possibility of offering an association health plan.
Association health plans come with a number of benefits for participants. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Flexibility in plan offerings: Plans where each employer can select what works best for its employees (high deductible plans with HSA options or low deductible options, etc.).
- Affordable coverage: Creating an association health plan allows better positioning by pooling together for health insurance and creating economies of scale.
- Strengthen employer/employee relationship: Building longevity and loyalty within members’ law firms.
- Stabilize premiums: Annual premium rate fluctuations are less dramatic year from year.
Steps to Complete the Census
The ISBA is requesting that all members complete the census as soon as possible. The data collection period will close on December 15. The URL has instructions on providing the information. The process should take no more than 10 minutes.
You will be required to enter your Association Membership Number and the Association Number, which is ISBA1234. To find your Association Membership Number please visit your account page.
The ISBA will provide regular updates throughout the process and provide members with next steps. If you have any questions about the census, please contact Mercer’s help desk.
1. What is an Association Health Plan (AHP)?
Association Health Plans (AHPs) are group health plans that associations sponsor to provide health coverage to their member's employees. AHPs allow for smaller employers to band together to purchase coverages that are typically only available to large employers resulting in a more competitive offering with coverage options that are tailored to the needs of the member.
2. Why are we evaluating an AHP offering?
- High demand from ISBA membership
- Providing access to competitive prices
- Expanding the value of services to ISBA Members
3. Why should I complete the Data Collection for the ISBA's AHP offering?
The higher response rate we are able to achieve, the better data we have to negotiate with insurance carriers to provide a competitive rate. Your data will help us evaluate the creation of a sustainable plan that offers:
- Strong Access for ISBA members
- Competitive premiums
- Benefit offering typically available through Fortune 100 companies
4. Where/Whom/How on completing the Data Collection needed?
ISBA members and/or their firms’ administrators may complete the Data Collection. This process should take no more than 10 minutes. Go to census.mercer.com/ISBA. Use the Association Number of ISBA1234. Your Association Membership Number is also requested, but if not readily available, you can enter the Association Number in that field instead. If you have questions regarding the submission of data using the Mercer Date Collection tool, please contact Mercer's help desk at MercerMarketplace365+CustomerSupport@mercer.com.
For more information related to Association Health Plans please visit the Department of Labor webpage at https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/association-health-plans