[games_access] IGDA Health Insurance

D. Michelle Hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Tue Nov 17 18:33:49 EST 2009

Hi all,

For IGDA members in the US, I wanted to forward a new healthcare
option that is going to be available to paying members. Here's the
press release - Michelle

The IGDA has long served game developers as a source of professional
growth and industry advocacy. We are probably best known for
providing a framework for networking and knowledge sharing through
local chapter events and industry events like the IGDA Leadership
Forum. However, as a professional association, it’s also incumbent
upon us to support the community in direct, practical ways too,
especially as we all work through this economic downturn.

One of the biggest challenges facing independent and consulting
developers particularly in the US is the skyrocketing cost of health
insurance. Large corporations have the benefit of collective
bargaining to help lower rates for employees, and so we are applying
the same principles to deliver to you the benefits of group
insurance, solely on the basis of your IGDA membership.

Largely through the tireless and cheerful efforts of our dynamic new
Executive Director Joshua Caulfield, we are incredibly proud to
announce the IGDA Healthcare Program. The IGDA HP grants you access
to the IGDA group account with Association Health Programs, a
national US brokerage that negotiates and presents the best available
insurance offerings from leading health insurance companies. Starting
in January 2010, you will be able to connect directly with an account
executive who will generate a set of group-negotiated healthcare
options, for you to choose from. As January gets closer we will work
to have more details and specifics about this program. In the
meantime here is a starter FAQ we can share with you:

Who can join the IGDA HP?

Any IGDA Member in good standing is eligible for the IGDA HP. Regular
membership dues are $48 per year, and hardship membership dues are
$25 per year.

Is the IGDA going to be my health insurance carrier?

Not directly. The IGDA is working with Association Health Programs, a
broker for many different insurance carriers across the US. By being
an IGDA member you will gain access to group rate plans provided by
national “A” rated carriers. Your health insurance will be through
one of those carriers, and the IGDA HP should give you access to a
lower rate than you would have if you were to obtain health insurance
on your own.

What will my health insurance cost?

Since this will vary for each case, there isn’t an answer to that
question yet. It will depend on a wide variety of factors and you
will have to wait until the plan is running before you can see what
the final cost is to you. You will have access to a group rate, so
your cost should be lower than what you could obtain individually.

Will I be excluded for pre-existing conditions?

As with any group health insurance policy you should not be excluded
for pre-existing conditions.

I am an International member, when can I get health insurance?

This plan is currently available for US members only. Most of our non-
US members live in countries with nationalized health care systems so
there is less need, or value in making this available to members in
those countries. Following a successful launch of the program in the
US, we would be interested in looking into this for other countries.
If you would like to help with that process please let us know.

Will dues increase as a result of the IGDA HP?

No, the membership rate will remain the same. The IGDA HP is an
optional benefit that US members can choose to take advantage of.
Members will be fully responsible for paying their own health
insurance premiums. The IGDA HP simply gives all members access to
group rate plans.

If you have any other questions please let us know or post them in
the comments below and we’ll try to respond to them or get answers as
we can.

Finally, we thank you for your patience with us, while we’ve worked
through some unexpected organizational issues. However, our main
focus has been, and will continue to be, on empowering and improving
the professional advancement of you, the game developer. We expect
that the IGDA HP will be an effective example of this core goal, and
we look forward to sharing a toast when we see you at the next IGDA

To your health,

IGDA Board of Directors
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