1. Who is eligible to participate in the IMA Health Plan?
To participate in the IMA Health Plan, eligible member companies must satisfy the following criteria to gain access to the program:
- Be an IMA member in good standing.
- Maintain a manufacturing industry focus (SIC code assignment of 2000 – 3999).
- Employ between two and 50 total employees (on average) in the prior calendar year across all commonly owned worksite locations.
- Be headquartered in Illinois.*
*While an Illinois headquarters is required, non-Illinois worksite locations and their benefits-eligible employees are also eligible to participate if the other criteria above are satisfied.
2. Can I obtain a quote through my current insurance broker?
Yes. The IMA Health Plan can only be quoted and sold through any properly licensed and appointed insurance agents and brokers in Illinois. Interested insurance agents and brokers may contact the IMA or visit the obtain a quote page for instructions.
3. When will quotes for the IMA Health Plan be available?
Quotes are available now! To request a proposal, please visit the obtain a quote page for instructions.
4. Do I need to be an IMA member to request a quote?
Any Illinois-based manufacturer that employed between two and 50 total employees (on average) in the prior calendar year across all commonly owned worksite locations can obtain an IMA Health Plan quote through their licensed agent/broker. In order to participate in the IMA Health Plan, all eligibility criteria noted in FAQ #1 above must be satisfied.
5. Will my participating employees and their covered dependents (if applicable) need to complete a medical questionnaire and/or health statement to obtain a quote?
No. The IMA Health Plan is not medically underwritten. Your employees will not need to complete a medical questionnaire or health statement to receive a quote or enroll in the IMA Health Plan.
6. How does the IMA Health Plan pricing compare to the open market?
Every group is rated separately based on their geographic location and demographics of their covered members. The IMA and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois have worked to develop a portfolio of comprehensive health plan products and pricing that is as competitive as possible given the unique composition of each participating group. Member companies are encouraged to work with their broker consultant to obtain a quote and compare pricing.
7. We already offer a group health program to our employees. Can we keep that and also offer the IMA Health Plan?
No. You may only offer one group health carrier/program to your employees.
8. Our standalone group benefits program just renewed. Can we still join the IMA Health Plan?
Generally, eligible IMA member companies may join the IMA health plan at any time throughout the year. Once launched, the IMA Health Plan will maintain a common effective/renewal date of October 1st. If your business does not join in conjunction with the common effective/renewal date, then your first year of participation will be considered a “short plan year” until the plan renews. We encourage interested member companies to consult with their broker consultant to evaluate the right time to join the IMA Health Plan.
9. How long are the IMA Health Plan rates guaranteed?
The IMA Health Plan’s rates will be established once a year and guaranteed for a twelve (12) month cycle coinciding with the common effective/renewal date.
10. Is the IMA Health Plan considered ACA compliant?
Yes. The health plans and rating structure of the IMA Health Plan meets all coverage mandates and compliance requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
11. Are other non-medical ancillary insurance products offered on a group basis through the IMA Health Plan? If so, which ones?
The IMA Health Plan offers a suite of robust ancillary benefits through MetLife for eligible member companies with 2-99 employees. The MetLife benefit program is available regardless of a group’s participation on the group medical portion of the IMA Health Plan. Please visit the Group Ancillary page for more information.
12. Our company’s SIC code falls outside the eligible range of 2000 – 3999. What options are available for our business and our employees?
Due to the regulatory requirements governing the IMA Health Plan, only businesses operating in the manufacturing sector with an SIC code of 2000 – 3999 are eligible to participate at this time. That said, any member company is welcome to contact the IMA for consultative guidance on innovative healthcare cost containment strategies and referrals to certified consultants in that space.
13. Our business is headquartered in Illinois with several worksite locations in other states. While each location employs less than 50 employees, collectively we employ more than 50 employees. Can we participate?
Generally, no. Only employer groups that employ between two (2) and 50 total employees (on average) in the prior calendar year across all commonly owned worksite locations are eligible to participate. Interested member companies must employ at least two (2) common law employees to participate.
Please note: Employees of “Controlled Groups” and/or “Affiliated Service Groups” must be aggregated. If your organization is part of “controlled group” of commonly owned businesses or is part of an “affiliated service group” with other businesses, as those terms are defined under Section 414 of the Internal Revenue Code, employees of those related employers must be aggregated in determining whether the group is eligible to participate in the IMA Health Plan.
The controlled group and affiliated service group rules are complicated and technical. If you are unsure whether your organization needs be aggregated with one or more other entities for reporting purposes, please consult with your insurance broker, attorney, and/or tax advisor.
14. Is the IMA Health Plan a “Captive” program?
No. The IMA Health Plan is a fully-insured Association Health Plan (AHP) that has been established under the Department of Labor’s “old rule” (“Pathway 1”) precedent.
15. How is the IMA Health Plan impacted by the recent Federal Court ruling against AHPs?
While the recent rejection of the DOL’s “new rule” for AHPs by a federal court was noteworthy, it does not impact the IMA Health Plan. The IMA Health Plan has been established as an AHP under the DOL’s “old rule” (“Pathway 1”) precedent, which is not impacted by the recent federal court ruling.
16. Is the IMA Health Plan different than the IMA’s previous Healthcare Trust Program?
Some IMA members may remember the IMA’s Healthcare Trust Program that operated successfully and profitably for nearly 50 years and was discontinued in the early 2000’s. While the IMA’s focus on an AHP is a different strategy than our legacy approach to providing healthcare for our members, we are confident that it will yield the same value-rich results that all of our member-centric initiatives are designed to produce.