Health Insurance for members
The Association has had many requests to provide health insurance for our members. This is indeed a big stumbling block for many travelers and one we thought important enough that we have spent many hours working on a solution, even before we were officially formed. Our research led directly to the Health Insurance article available to Full members to detail actual and realistic current solutions.
As much as we would like to sup, it is just not feasible. We could provide private insurance to our members as an individual option, but this would generally not be as good as the insurance obtained separately, or would cost more.
Group health insurance has two major roadblocks: First is that it requires an employer/employee relationship and there is almost no way around it. The second is it would require a group enrollment, all Association members would be required to join. There is little chance of convincing 100 percent of our members to accept our group insurance at a minimum of $300 a month!
Both of these roadblocks have a similar reasoning behind them, and the concept of self selection is the key point. Self selection refers to a consumer only signing up for insurance when they know they are about to use it heavily. This terrifies insurance agencies and for good reason. Insisting on a group to spread their risk is incredibly important in the current US system of primarily employer provided health insurance. Employees are the only really secure groups than can have mandated insurance.
Even there, exclusions for pre-existing conditions and eligibility waiting periods are common.
There is a lot of belief even by experienced insurance agents that an Association can be a valid group. Even a casual search of insurance information pages implies just that. One of the most common apparent exceptions is finding an association that provides group health for its members. This is misleading in that the association provides group health for its members employees, not the actual members!
The Association has followed up many such leads and we have come up empty handed every time. This is what led to the discovery of principles which make it clear that further research is pointless. In fact, the employer/employee relationship is mandated by most state laws as a protection for insurance companies.
We do continue to welcome suggestions and brainstorming, however please do not refer us to agents or websites as these have not proved helpful. Don't be fooled by insurance that you may have heard about offered by such organization such as AARP, these are invariably supplemental policies and are not a replacement for a primary policy.