Dear RAM Member:

No organization in Massachusetts has fought harder for fair health insurance premiums and marketplace equality for small businesses than the Retailers Association of Massachusetts. The fight will always continue, but for now we are very pleased to announce our member only cooperative offerings effective January 1, 2020. If you are currently participating in the Retailers Association of Massachusetts Health Insurance Cooperative (RAMHIC), thank you for your support and patience as over the past several years the unintended federal discrimination and restrictions on state flexibility resulting from the ACA have limited the savings and offerings we have been able to deliver.

But beginning January 1, our upfront premium discount on our offered health plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA (BCBSMA) and Fallon Health will increase from 1% to 3% for both renewals and new participating members. Furthermore, more options and more benefits will be available. While we are currently negotiating with Fallon for new plan options to be available for renewals beginning April 1, 2020; we now know what we will be offering to our members from BCBSMA.

BCBSMA plans written beginning January 1, 2020 will feature all of the following exclusive benefits:

  • An upfront 3% premium discount;
  • Access to all 36 small group plans offered by BCBSMA;
  • A free $10,000 life insurance policy for the subscriber;
  • A free supplemental hospitalization policy which covers $750 for a hospital admission, and provides varying reimbursement amounts for costs associated with daily confinement, intensive care stays and ambulance services;
  • Access to new financial accounts, including Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)/Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), which are fully integrated with your BCBSMA health plan—this is an important program option in an era of high deductible plans;
  • Healthy Actions wellness program, which rewards employees for wellness activities with $300 annually; and the employer with a 7.5% back end premium rebate if enough of your employees participate in the program.

With small group family premiums averaging around $25,000 and individual coverage approaching $10,000 a year in Massachusetts, a guaranteed 3% discount, combined with a potential 7.5% wellness dividend collectively means you can save up to 10.5% on your health insurance benefits. And with ALL BCBSMA small group plans now available under RAMHIC, any of our members currently receiving coverage through BCBSMA should plan to renew their coverage through RAMHIC to receive these added benefits. Similarly, if you are currently with Fallon, don’t walk away from a 3% discount! And if you are with any other insurer, be sure to ask your broker to get you RAMHIC quotes, or feel free to contact RAM as you approach renewal and we will be happy to connect you with our insurers or a RAMHIC certified broker.

Like the group buying benefits of our MA Retail Merchants Workers Compensation Group, RAMHIC is designed for our members to work together for better benefits at better service and pricing. We hope you will join in our efforts with RAMHIC. The better the participation, the better the program will be in the future!

Jon B. Hurst