INFB has set an aggressive deadline to open applications for its health care plans in the fourth quarter of 2020, and for health benefits to take effect Jan. 1, 2021. To sign up for Indiana Farm Bureau Health Plan updates, visit this page.
Members in all 92 counties who do not have access to group insurance plans or work somewhere for health benefits such as farmers, those who work on farms, agribusiness professionals and rural entrepreneurs with fewer than two employees or who do not qualify for significant Affordable Care Act subsidies.
After a year of extensive research of the health care benefit plans currently available, INFB found there isn’t a single option that creates significant savings for the sole proprietor. Plans like the ones offered through the Indiana Chamber of Commerce benefit small businesses with two or more employees. Since a vast majority of INFB members are sole proprietors, they do not qualify for those types of health plans.
INFB's solution creates a health benefit plan for our members. Since it will not meet all of the requirements under ACA and not all applicants will receive coverage due to certain preexisting conditions, the plans can’t be called "insurance." Importantly, the health benefit plan will function just like any other traditional health insurance plan.
INFB engaged Lewis & Ellis – a nationally respected actuary firm – to analyze the impact on the marketplace. They concluded that INFB's plan would have a minimal impact, accounting for only a 0.1% to 0.2% premium increase for those in the marketplace. Because INFB's health benefit plans are targeted to address a gap in current offerings, the number of Hoosiers who will be looking into products like these will be somewhat limited.
INFB's health benefit plan will be very robust, allowing members to choose the coverages they need. Our associates will work with members to ensure their individual needs are met and they understand their coverages. Through a thirdparty administrator, INFB will be able to offer plans that feature many essential health benefits including, but not limited to:
Hospitalization and tele-medicine
Prescription drug benefits
Preventative, routine and wellness services
Maternity, newborn and pediatric care
Mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment
Once members are accepted and pay their premiums, they will not be denied coverage as long as they continue to be an INFB member. Similar to traditional health care plans, premiums may increase as the performance of the pool of a particular plan changes or as the individual ages.
Yes. Consultation with other state Farm Bureaus was part of INFB's extensive research. Three of them – Tennessee, Kansas and Iowa – have pursued a similar approach. Tennessee Farm Bureau in particular has offered a health benefit plan to their members for over 25 years.
Since each applicant will be individually rated based on their medical history, INFB will be able to offer coverage for significantly less than similar coverage under the ACA where premiums are not subsidized.
INFB's goal is to cover as many members as possible. To create a health benefit plan that is more affordable, some applicants may not qualify for INFB’s plan. In Tennessee, for example, nearly 9 out of 10 applicants receive coverage.
The INFB health plan will be a benefit available to INFB members. Defining who is a farmer is a judgement call and could leave out agribusiness professionals and other small businesses that support farmers and rural economies.
Limiting those who could join Farm Bureau or who could buy the proposed health care benefit would also limit the size of the pool of lives covered and ability of those in the pool to share risk.
INFB's solution will help many of our members, but will not address every individual health care need. INFB members stressed the importance of cost savings throughout this process. Without the cost savings of individual underwriting, INFB wouldn’t be able to offer something substantially different than what is on the market today. This innovative approach will create substantial savings for many INFB members.
INFB's health benefit plans will function like any other traditional health benefit plan. Plans will include premiums and deductibles. Most importantly, it is a legally binding contract outlining specific coverages based on individual health conditions at the time of application.
Indiana Farm Bureau is at its core an organization designed to serve its members’ needs. All of INFB's plans will have clearly defined consumer protection provisions.