Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
As the New Year rolls around, it seems an appropriate time to communicate with you about your member benefits. FMCA provides its members many benefits that are specifically tailored to the traveler and, in some cases, the motorhome owner. Honestly, some FMCA member benefits can be acquired through other avenues, such as AAA, AARP, credit unions, or similar organizations. FMCA tries to provide a variety of benefits and includes common items such as credit cards and telephone calling cards in the mix. Perhaps this causes many members to overlook the decidedly different benefits that FMCA has negotiated or purchased on behalf of the membership. So, I urge you to take the time to learn about all of your member benefits. They are described here in this magazine, and I want to be sure you will read about them and become familiar with facts that may be very important to you down the road.
Each January issue of Family Motor Coaching includes the Membership Directory. The FMCA Governing Board recently was given the opportunity to eliminate the membership listings from this issue, because of their size and the related costs. The Governing Board’s overwhelming support for continuing to provide these listings was impressive. It was noted in their discussions that since FMCA is a social organization, the membership directory is essential to continue the desired personal interactions.
The January magazine also is a tool by which FMCA communicates to its members what is available to them in the way of benefits and support. The “Member Benefits Guide” in this issue includes a thorough description of every member benefit. In addition, several specific articles have been written to explain the details of particular benefits.
When you turn to the Membership Directory, which is indexed on page 287, you will see that it contains much more than family membership numbers and names. It also includes the Chapter Directory, a listing of all FMCA chapters and their respective areas. The Stoppin’ Spots section lists family members who have volunteered to have other FMCA members stop for a 24-hour emergency stay or a 24-hour friendship stay; to assist in finding reliable motorhome service while on the road; and/or to serve as a “Pinch Hit driver” in case of an emergency. A directory of sanitary disposals also is included, as is a handy “Motorhome Checklist.”
A complete list of FMCA commercial members — the Business Directory — also can be found in this issue beginning on page 1057. I often describe FMCA as an unusual association, because from its inception it has included both consumers (family members) and product providers (commercial members). While many associations accept membership from either a provider base or a user base, FMCA decided to form a “family” of both. To FMCA’s credit, many advances in the motorhome industry have resulted from this union. Many commercial members have offered to enhance this relationship by offering discounts to family members. Please refer to the Business Directory not only when you’re at home, but also as you travel. I think you will be pleased with the commercial members’ interest in supporting fellow FMCA members. (This listing also will appear in the June 2003 issue of FMC and is available online at www.fmca.com.)
As I noted earlier, FMCA purchases several distinctive benefits that support members as they travel, whether by motorhome or not. We continue to try to get the word out about these benefits via the national, area, and chapter officers. The newest benefit, which is very important for you to be aware of, is MEDEX Plus — the Emergency Medical Assistance Program. This program is explained in detail in an article that begins on page 195. It is essential that MEDEX be called prior to any transport, either of the member or vehicle(s). Finding out about the benefit or notifying MEDEX after the fact does not make one eligible for this coverage. I encourage you to read about this benefit, cut out the benefit cards, record your membership number on them, and place a card in your wallet or purse. Each member needs to be carrying the card. You never know who will be the one requiring medical assistance, and you probably will not be in a position to return to the motorhome during a medical emergency. Again, FMCA has purchased this benefit for its family members, and it is included in your annual membership dues. No other purchase is required on your part.
Two other benefits that FMCA purchased for its members are the Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance and the Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan. FMCA’s Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance is described in a very informative article on page 204. Please become familiar with this policy, cut out the policy document on page 207, and place it with your insurance papers.
FMCA’s Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan has undergone some qualification and submission requirement revisions, so even if you were familiar with this benefit in the past, please read the new article on page 208. I can’t tell you how many of our members have told me how much this benefit has meant to them when they experienced unexpected medical expenses while on the road. We have even provided a claim form on page 211. Forms may also be obtained by calling the Membership Services Department at the national office.
Again, I want to emphasize that these two insurance benefits have been purchased by FMCA for the family members, and are included as part of your annual membership dues. If you like, however, you can increase the annual benefit of the FMCA Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan from $1,000 per member to $2,000 by purchasing the Bonus Plan mentioned on page 209. However, this is only an option. All FMCA family members are automatically covered for the $1,000 annual benefit. Additional Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage is available as an option as well.
I realize that not everyone who receives this Membership Directory will read my commentary. Therefore, I ask those of you who have taken the time to read this and maintain your knowledge of your benefits to assist me in communicating and spreading this important information. When you meet and talk with fellow FMCA members, ask them what they think of the MEDEX benefit. If you get a blank stare, please share with them what you have learned and refer them to the articles in this magazine. Thanks, and have a very happy and safe New Year.