Five Trade Groups Forming Insurance Trust

Health and dental benefits for 1,600 member companies

April 13, 2007 — Five metalworking trade associations have agreed jointly to launch and support an insurance trust to offer common health and dental benefits to their collective member companies. The groups have enlisted as their partner Trustmark Affinity Markets, which will administer the Metalworking Manufacturing Coalition (MMC) Trust.

The organizations pooling their resources for the MMC are the Industrial Fasteners Institute, the Forging Industry Assn., the Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society, the Precision Metalforming Assn., and the Spring Manufacturers’ Institute.

The Trustmark Cos. is a provider of benefit administration services and a range of life, medical, dental, managed care, disability, and critical illness products. Its business unit Trustmark Affinity Markets serves "the affinity organization" segment of the group insurance market.

“Finding and keeping good employees can be difficult for any small business, but it can be an enormous problem for many manufacturers still operating in the U.S. today,” stated NFFS executive director Jim Mallory. “Paying competitive wages is just one part of an employee’s total compensation. A recent study by the National Association of Manufacturers concluded that the sharp rise in non-wage costs represents a significant and long-term problem for our nation’s manufacturers and America’s economy. Chief among the increases that manufacturers have faced in recent years is the skyrocketing cost of health care.”

The MMC Health & Life Trust Plan will make available to participating firms' employees and families a range of benefits choices. Some coverage options will be:
- PPO – Trustmark’s preferred provider option includes different deductible and coinsurance levels, so the employees may choose their caregiver or facility, but would typically pay less for services rendered within the PPO network.
- Health Savings Accounts – HSAs are described as a "marketplace solution" for health care, making the insured employee more responsible for spending.
- Prescription Drug Benefit – Trustmark offers its covered individuals a pharmacy management network (over 57,000 network pharmacies, nationwide, including national chains and independent pharmacies), and a mail-order pharmacy service.

The MMC plan also will offer a dental benefits plan, and Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage are also available, complementing medical coverage.

More than 1,600 member companies belonging to the five trade associations may be eligible for coverage by the MMC trust.

Additional information on the coverage options is available from Trustmark Affinity Markets (Tel. George Michelic, 847-283-2041). The individual trade associations should be contacted for information on their membership eligibility requirements, costs, and benefits.

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