VBA Accident Insurance Summary of Benefits

This content is provided for educational purposes only and is not an offer of coverage and is not intended to represent a communication from an insurer.

2The Benefit Amounts shown above for Dental, Physical Therapy, Orthopedic Appliance, and Transportation are part of, and not in addition to, the Maximum
Benefit Amount for Accident Medical Expense. Payment of these Benefit Amounts reduces and does not increase the Benefit Amount for Accident Medical Expense.

If an insured person has multiple losses as the result of one accident, the policy will only pay the single largest benefit amount applicable.

24-Hour AD&D Insurance:
covers you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, anywhere in the world while at work or at play.

Accident Medical Expense:
This benefit will reimburse up to the maximum amount if accidental bodily injury causes you to first incur medical expenses for care and treatment within 90 days after an accident. The benefit amount for accident medical expense is payable only for medical expenses incurred within 52 weeks after the date of the accident causing the accidental bodily injury. The benefit amount is subject to the deductible and the maximum benefit amount. Payment of the benefit amount for accident medical expense is subject to the sub-limits for dental, physical therapy, orthopedic appliances and transportation expenses shown. In no event will total payments for your dental care and treatment, physical therapy, orthopedic appliances, transportation and medical expense exceed the benefit amount for Accident Medical Expense. For residents of CT, ID, IN, MD, NJ, NY, and SD, this benefit is payable on a primary basis. For residents in all other jurisdictions, this benefit is payable on an excess basis; we will determine the reasonable and customary charge for the covered medical expense. We will then reduce that amount by amounts already paid or
payable by any other plan and will pay the resulting amount less the deductible. In no event will we pay more than the maximum benefit amount. The deductible will be deducted from any benefit amount for Accident Medical Expense that is paid. This Deductible applies separately to each Insured Person and each Accident.

Limitation on Accident Medical Expense: This benefit does not apply to charges and services 1) for which you have no obligation to pay; 2) for any injury where worker’s compensation benefits or occupational injury benefits are payable; 3) for any injury occurring while fighting, except in self-defense; 4) for treatment that is educational, experimental or investigational in nature or that does not constitute accepted medical practice; 5) for treatment by a person employed or retained by the Policyholder; or 6) for treatment involving conditions caused by repetitive motion injuries, or cumulative trauma and not as the result of an accidental bodily injury. This insurance applies only to medically necessary charges and services.

Extensions of Insurance: Exposure
– If an accident causes you to be unavoidably exposed to the elements and as a result of such exposure you have a loss, then such loss will be insured under the policy.

– If you have not been found within 1 year of a disappearance, stranding, sinking, or wrecking of any conveyance in which you were an occupant at the
time of the accident, then it will be assumed, that you have suffered loss of life insured under the policy.

Insurance does not apply to any Accident, Accidental Bodily Injury or Loss when the United States of America has imposed any trade sanctions or there is another legal prohibition to providing the insurance, or when caused or resulting from:

1) an Insured Person acting/training as a pilot or crew member. (unless temporarily performing duties in a life threatening emergency.);

2)an Insured Person’s emotional trauma, mental or physical illness, disease, pregnancy, childbirth or miscarriage, bacterial or viral infection (unless the bacterial infection is caused by an Accident or by Accidental consumption of a substance contaminated by bacteria.), bodily malfunctions or medical or surgical treatment thereof. ;

3) an Insured Person’s commission or attempted commission of any illegal act, including but not limited to any felony;

4) an Insured Person being incarcerated after conviction;

5) an Insured Person being intoxicated, at the time of an Accident.;

6) an Insured Person being under the influence of any narcotic or other controlled substance at the time of an Accident. (unless taken and used as prescribed by a Physician.);

7) an Insured Person’s participation in active military service (except for the first 60 consecutive days of active military service);

8) an Insured Person’s suicide or intentionally self-inflicted injury;

9) a declared or undeclared War.

Description of Coverage: Once you are enrolled in the plan, you will receive a description of coverage.

WARNING: It is a crime to provide false or misleading information to an insurer for the purpose of defrauding the insurer or any other person. Penalties include imprisonment and/or fines. In addition, an insurer may deny insurance benefits if false information materially related to a claim was provided by the applicant.

Insurance is underwritten by Federal Insurance Company, a member insurer of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. The coverages described in this literature may not be available in all jurisdictions. This literature is descriptive only. Actual coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued
(Policy # 9907-05-81 & 9907-05-82). Exclusions Apply. This policy provides ACCIDENT insurance only. It does NOT provide basic hospital, basic medical or major medical insurance as defined by the New York State Insurance Department. The expected benefit ratio for this policy is 85%. This ratio is the portion of future premiums which the company expects to return as benefits, when averaged over all people with this policy.


Chubb, Box 1615, Warren, N.J. 07061-1615

Highlights of coverage are listed here. 

The source of this content is the product brochure.


Value Benefits of America Terms and Conditions

This content is provided for educational purposes only and is not an offer of coverage and is not intended to represent a communication from an insurer.

1. Member understands that VBA is not an insurance company or program. Accident Benefit Payments are made by the insurance company issuing the blanket coverage to Members.

2. VBA provides savings to its members on services through a number of sources. The current list of benefits may be modified through additions or deletions. A quarterly newsletter, posted on our web site or sent via e-mail, will keep Members up to date on benefits and other pertinent information.

3. Payments for the VBA Program are due in advance. Payments will be drafted on or about 15 days before the due date. If you choose to cancel your program, it is your responsibility to make sure that your membership card and a written request for cancellation are sent to VBA at least 15 days prior to the anniversary of your effective date in order for your account not to be
charged for additional fees.

4. Member hereby appoints Value Benefits of America (VBA) President, or failing this person, a VBA Director, as proxy holder for and on behalf
of the member with the power of substitution to attend, act and vote for and on behalf of the member in respect of all matters that may properly come before the meeting of the members of VBA and at every adjournment thereof, to the same extent and with the same powers as if the undersigned member were present at the said meeting, or any adjournment thereof. Annual meetings are to be held in Arizona the second Tuesday of August.

5. VBA reserves the right to terminate any enrollment or deny eligibility in
the program for lack of payment to VBA. Returned checks, insufficient notices on bank drafts or denial by the member’s credit card company for payment of the membership fee is deemed to be evidence of non-payment by a member. There will be a $10.00 charge to be reinstated in the program after such denial. If reinstatement for non-payment happens more than once, a $20.00 reinstatement fee will apply.

6. In the event of any dispute, member agrees to resolve said dispute solely by binding arbitration that shall be governed by the laws of the state of Arizona and enforceable at Scottsdale, Maricopa County.

7. Membership canceled within the first 30 days of the enrollment date may be eligible for refund if the membership card and written cancellation request are sent to VBA. The administrative fee is not refundable. Approved refunds will be processed approximately 30 days after the cancellation.

8. Membership is effective on the 1st of the month following enrollment acceptance by VBA.

Member Agreement:
By signing your enrollment form, Member expresses desire to become a member of Value Benefits of America. Member acknowledges that the
discount plans ARE NOT INSURANCE, but membership includes certain limited supplemental insured coverage’s. Membership benefits are not a replacement for health insurance coverage nor are they intended as a substitute for health insurance coverage. Membership fees may change for all members, but not individually, with notification.

The source of this content is the product brochure.

Highlights of VBA Accident Medical Expense Insurance

This content is provided for educational purposes only and is not an offer of coverage and is not intended to represent a communication from an insurer.


Value Benefits America (VBA) Accident Medical Expense Plan Highlights:

VBA Including Accident Medical Expense
VBA Membership With Accident Medical Expense Plus AD&D
Accident Coverage – Best in Class – Great complement for High Deductibles
Issue ages 18-64 – Guarane Issue – Fast/Easy Issue
For: Individuals, Families or GROUPS (EFT or List Billing)
AME Benefit levels: $2,000 to $25,000
No social security number required
No Occupational, Activities Or Sports Excluded
VBA Association Group Membership includes: 24/7 Telemedicine (telephonic or video) – No Cost consultations with Board Certified Physicians,  Unlimited Use
$35/month for a Family – $2,000 AME benefit – each covered person, each accident

Who purchases this coverage?
Anyone that has a medical plan with high deductibles or can’t afford other coverage.

A summary of benefits is covered here.

The source of this content is the product brochure.

Caution about ‘skinny’ health plans

NBC News published a detailed investigative report on “skinny health plans” this past week. Their conclusion is that consumers are confused about health insurance and that the Trump administration is adding to the confusion. As a guy who has handled more than 50,000 consumer communications about health insurance over many years, I agree with the published report’s analysis and conclusion. Yet this this consumer confusion existed back in the years before the Affordable Care Act so we can’t blame it all on Trump just because he has pushed the ‘skinny’ health insurance approach by executive order.

I tend to react furiously to false advertisement claims by health insurance marketers, often untrained telephone sales boiler rooms that notoriously mislead consumers. Recent claims that insurance plans are “ACA compliant” or “promoted by President Trump” are the most confusing to consumers lately.

Yet these alternate health plans do have their place in the market. Whether we call them “skinny health plans”, “short term medical insurance”, “limited benefit health insurance” or “core health insurance”, my position has always been that some coverage is better than none at all.

Most people who pay for their own insurance are not adequately covered by any single health insurance  plan, including the ACA health insurance policies. Whether an ACA plan or another plan works better for a normally healthy person is a function of the type of medical bills they will incur in the future; something we can seldom predict in advance.

In a perfect world, we would be covered by a government-influenced basic coverage and a supplemental policy through our employer or purchased individually. Although we are far from a perfect world, Freedom Benefits can help small business employers redesign their health plans to maximize the benefits to employees that are offered through a combination of public and private health plans.

Small business’ role in children’s health insurance

What role do small business owners have in providing health coverage for children of employees?

This question is increasingly significant as the federal government stalls and is apparently unwilling to issue funding for ‘CHIP’ programs that cover the children of nearly 9 million moderate income families that have historically been supported by the majority of lawmakers. Recent news reports indicate that the Senate is unlikely to approve the funding so states and employee benefits advisers like us are beginning to investigate alternatives. This article is meant to provide a preliminary checklist.

  1. Small businesses are not required to provide health insurance to employees.
  2. Businesses that do provide health insurance to employees are not required to provide it (or even make it available) to employees’ children.
  3. Businesses that do provide employee health coverage typically cover children on the same plan and under the same terms as the employees.
  4. CHIP often covers the children of parents who work in small businesses.
  5. Until 2010, the United States was making strong positive progress in providing health coverage to low income children. I covered this topic here in 2011. Most of these initiatives were replaced by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  6. The implementation of the ACA dominated coverage from 2012 until this year, 2017. This federal law treated all low income people equally (although coverage varied depending on state and local markets).
  7. The rollback of funding for ACA is the primary factor affecting children’s health insurance for lower income families in 2018.
  8. The cost of children’s health insurance is less than the cost of adult coverage
  9. In many cases small businesses are wise, considering all the options and current laws, to provide supplemental health coverage and avoid providing primary health coverage to employees and their dependents.
  10. Employee health plans can be modified to provide relief for employees’ children in the event of a cancellation of CHIP programs without disturbing other employer policies that are currently in force.

This blog post offers generalized comments for public presentation. Discussion is not customized for each state’s laws. Some of these points may not apply to your firm. Please seek individual guidance that applies to your firm and your state’s laws.

2018 health insurance: 4 simple priorities to consider now

Health care can be complicated. It helps to stay focused on the big decision issues and know that help is available if you need it. It may help to focus on these four simple priorities this month:

  1. PLAN AHEAD: The cost of health coverage can be up to almost 20% of total household income for middle class people in the $50,000 to $100,000 income range. This is a tremendous financial burden that needs to be part of your overall long term financial plan. No political solution will make this problem go away; it is up to you. Take control now by doing what is necessary to protect yourself.
  2. QUALIFY FOR A TAX CREDIT: Most people – about 4 out of 5 people – who need health insurance qualify for reduced-cost coverage made possible by income tax credits that are advanced through your insurance company. It is important to have your online application for 2018 at healthcare.gov* complete by December 15 so get an early start.
  3. OTHER TAX PLANNING: For the 1 in 5 applicants who do not qualify for a premium subsidy (mostly self-employed people or early retirees with income over $100,000)  it takes serious financial planning to cover this expense. Some relief may be available through smart tax planning to cover the expense on a tax exempt basis that saves thousands.
  4. FIND AN ALTERNATIVE: If you can’t afford this type of Obamacare coverage, there are two important next steps are: 1) qualify for a waiver of the tax penalty, and 2) enroll in an alternate less expensive health plan that might cover less but is better than being unprotected.

Freedom Benefits can offer free help with any of these four priorities.

Effects of federal government halt to health insurance subsidies

The federal government has announced that it will not pay scheduled benefits called Cost Sharing Reductions for lower income working class people who buy their own health insurance. It turns out that relatively few people are actually affected. Here are six things for consumers to know:

  1. In most cases the action does not directly affect the amount your pay for insurance. A ‘subsidy’ is not the same as a ‘premium tax credit.’ The amount of  premium tax credit is unaffected. In fact, the number of people who qualify for the credit may increase.
  2. Insurers will increase the premium rates for all policyholders. But most of this increase is paid by the federal government. The 15% of policyholders who pay the full premium will pay more unless the increase now qualified them for a premium subsidy.
  3. The amount of ‘out-of-pocket’ payment for lower income policyholders could increase. If so, in some cases it might be possible to adjust your HSA, FSA and payroll tax withholding to nullify the change by an insurer.
  4. Some insurance companies say they already anticipated Trump’s move when they set their 2018 premiums. States granted insurance companies an extra rate increases to make up for the lost federal funding.
  5. No insurance companies have announced their attention to withdraw from any market because of the federal government action.
  6. Employers that want to help employees make up the difference have a range of tax-free options that allow them to do so. Talk to us about the range of options,

Despite the strong public objection to this action, it might turn out to have minimal impact. The larger danger is that low-income individuals will become frustrated or confused about their health benefits and choose to not enroll in subsidized insurance coverage next year.

Introduction of Healthcare Market Certainty and Mandate Relief Act of 2017

I don’t normally spend much time commenting on newly proposed legislation in its earliest stages. However, the two separate major pieces of legislation introduced yesterday deserve some attention. The first piece was the tax reform legislation, I covered impressions of that “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” bill here. The second proposed bill called “Healthcare Market Certainty and Mandate Relief Act of 2017” addresses health insurance issues by funding insurance subsidies and removing the individual and employer health insurance mandates.

The American Hospital Association published a press release that says:

“Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) yesterday introduced the Healthcare Market Certainty and Mandate Relief Act of 2017 that would fund cost-sharing reduction payments to health insurers for two years and eliminate temporarily certain Affordable Care Act mandates. The leaders said the proposal would fund the CSRs through 2019. For 2018, carriers would have to meet certain conditions that would be determined in consultation with the secretaries of the departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury. The proposal also would eliminate the ACA’s individual mandate from 2017-2021; eliminate the ACA’s employer mandate from 2015-2017; and expand the use of health savings accounts.”

The link in the description above is to the Senate bill. The House version of the bill is here. I haven’t read either because we understand that the wording is still in flux. (I don’t understand the process of changing a filed bill or whether these are still considered unfiled).

It is significant to note that this bill is separate from the tax reform proposal and will likely proceed on its own route. It seems to me that the proposal, while unorthodox from an actuarial perspective, just might work.

As of November 5, 2017, the bill has not moved forward from The House Ways and Means Committee.

2018 online insurance enrollment web sites

Different enrollment web sites serve different purposes

Health insurance enrollment for 2018 opened on November 1, 2017. In previous years it was possible to enroll for multiple types of insurance on one web site portal that connected different types of insurance. This year, however, insurance companies have taken steps to separate their products. Freedom Benefits recommends that shoppers deliberately separate their online shopping rather than use a combined product portal in order to get the best service and range of product options. Using two different enrollment web services maximizes the different capabilities of each type of insurance. This is a potentially confusing issue that may come up in this year’s health insurance enrollment.

Regular individual major medical insurance (also known as Obamacare) is offered through Healthcare.gov. This is the government-run health insurance web site. Coverage is available in all locations across the United States. Enrollment is only available online and not by telephone.

Supplemental insurance, short term medical insurance, deductible supplement insurance and dental coverage are offered through commercial insurance exchanges like Smart Insurance Marketplace. Not all types of coverage are available in all areas. Enrollment and live support is available by phone but we recommend that you enroll online.

In the past Freedom Benefits pricing and enrollment support was offered together through one exchange portal service. While these older web sites do exist, we n longer endorse them. We do provide support to consumers with questions about any insurance enrollment decision, regardless of the point of enrollment.