IFB to survey members about health care

Feedback will help the organization continue to investigate whether offering an association health plan to members makes sense.

By Deana Stroisch

Check your inbox: Illinois Farm Bureau plans to email questionnaires to voting members this week to gauge interest in an association health plan (AHP).

The 12-question survey asks members if they are sole proprietors or employers, how many employees they have, current health insurance coverage and its cost.

It also asks which plan is more appealing:

1) A plan with higher monthly premiums but lower out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles.

2) Or a plan with lower monthly premiums but higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

“This survey will help us gather more information as we visit with health insurance carriers to pursue the potential development of an AHP,” said Chris Magnuson, Illinois Farm Bureau executive director of news and communications.

Survey answers will be submitted anonymously, he noted. Only aggregated data will be provided to insurance providers. 

On the recommendation of its Health Care Working Group, IFB has been in discussions with insurance carriers about creating an AHP for Farm Bureau members.

The Department of Labor filed notice of intent recently to appeal a recent U.S. District Court decision that blocked parts of a rule that expanded the use of AHPs. The judge’s ruling struck down the section of the rule that allowed unrelated employers located in the same state to form a “bona fide group,” and sponsor an AHP and the ability for self-employed individuals with no employees to participate in an AHP.

Members who want to participate in the survey, but didn’t receive an email, can do so by visiting MyIFB at ilfb.org to enter their email address. Members adding their email address will be sent the survey.