WASHINGTON-Faced with the prospect of losing its medical insurance programs in as many as 15 states, the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association ended its 42-year partnership with New York Life. In December, the NTDRA notified members that John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Boston will underwrite association medical, dental, health and life insurance programs as of Feb. 1.
The insurance policies-including the NTDRA's $1 million catastrophic life program-will remain unchanged from those offered under New York Life, but with a 6-percent rate increase-the association's first rate hike in two years, an NTDRA spokesman said.
The John Hancock programs offer widespread availability, guaranteed rates upon renewal through Oct. 31, preferred provider organizations in 20 states, managed care features for prehospitalization reviews, and on-going case management, the NTDRA said.
Currently the NTDRA provides insurance to 3,000 to 3,500 individuals, said the spokesman, who characterized member response to the policies as ``very good.''
The NTDRA decision to drop its agreement with New York Life came after the company told the association last year it would no longer offer coverage in 15 states, and planned to implement a 23-percent rate increase. ``New York Life has basically made a decision to not do business in some states,'' the spokesman said. ``You can't offer a national program if you are not doing business in 15 states.''
John Hancock will offer policies to NTDRA members in every state except New York and Vermont, where it doesn't write policies due to state regulations, and Hawaii, which has a state plan.
Philip P. Friedlander Jr., NTDRA executive vice president and insurance trust managing director, said the NTDRA is trying to provide affordable coverage under a program that works with current state and potential national insurance reforms.
An average cost for the plans could not be obtained because of the multiple options provided, the NTDRA said. Members desiring more information should call Marion Smith at (800) 876-8372.
Tire Business for 1994