Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
This is the last in a series of columns that I have written about the benefits that are available to members of the Family Motor Coach Association. This month I’ll conclude my discussion by focusing on insurance, financial services, and additional benefits. Understanding the following information could save you hundreds of dollars.
The Deductible and Co-Insurance Reimbursement Insurance Plan was purchased by FMCA to cover the deductible and co-insurance portion of a medical or dental insurance claim for members who experience a sudden and unforeseen medical need and must use their medical or dental insurance while they are traveling. The program provides for reimbursement of a member’s medical or dental plan deductible and co-insurance costs incurred when the member is 100 or more miles away from his or her home, or homes, of residence.
The Deductible and Co-Insurance Reimbursement Insurance Plan is not intended to reimburse the deductible or co-insurance for routine care. To qualify, the member must have a primary medical (or dental) insurance policy, or Medicare. The member must first file the claim with his or her primary insurance provider and then supply an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) showing the deductible and co-insurance out-of-pocket patient responsibility portion.
Medical deductible and co-insurance claims can be reimbursed up to $1,000 per calendar year per person. Dental deductible and co-insurance out-of-pocket expenses can be reimbursed up to $250 per calendar year per person. There is a $100 deductible per occurrence for illness, but it is waived in the case of an accident. An article about the plan appears on page 208 of the January 2003 issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine.
The $1,000 Medical Deductible and Co-Insurance Reimbursement Benefit is provided at no cost to FMCA members. For a modest charge, members can have the coverage tripled to $3,000 per year, with prescription drug benefits. For complete details and a free brochure, call (800) 241-8363 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday.
Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is another program that FMCA purchases for its members. This program pays $10,000 in the event of an accidental death that occurs within a motorhome or while traveling on a common carrier (bus, train, or plane). Accidental death not occurring within a motorhome or common carrier is covered in the amount of $2,000. The benefit paid for dismemberment is based on the accidental injury, but it is usually half of the principal amount of the death benefit. Neither of these free insurance benefits requires the member to enroll. By being a member of FMCA, you are automatically covered. For more information about FMCA’s AD&D benefit, please refer to the article that begins on page 204 of the January 2003 issue of FMC.
Several motorhome insurance companies advertise in Family Motor Coaching magazine or are commercial members of FMCA; some of them pioneered the insurance of motorhomes and have worked with FMCA in offering insurance plans that are tailored to individuals who travel in a motorhome and routinely tow an automobile. Insurance companies that are not familiar with the motorhome lifestyle may not fully understand it and, therefore, their coverage may be limited. I encourage you to review your motorhome insurance policy to be sure that it covers you for all of the potential motorhome-related hazards and situations you could face. Most of the companies that advertise in the magazine also exhibit at international conventions and area rallies. They often team up at these events to offer a motorhome insurance seminar, which I encourage you to attend.
The Business Directory, an index of FMCA commercial members that appears in the January and June issues of FMC and online at FMCA.com, lists insurance companies that are commercial members of FMCA. This listing can be found in the “Services” category under “Insurance.”
In the area of financial services, FMCA has partnered with First USA Bank to offer members a VISA credit card. A description of this program and information about how to apply for the card begins on page 192 of the January 2003 issue of FMC magazine.
Since 1988 Family Motor Coach Association has partnered with Ganis Credit Corporation, now an E*Trade Bank company, to offer members the opportunity to finance or refinance their motorhomes. Terms of up to 20 years are available, and members may borrow from $15,000 to $750,000 or more. FMCA periodically permits Ganis to send a mailing to members to inform them of opportunities afforded by their program. Each time an FMCA member takes out a loan with Ganis, the company donates $50 to FMCA’s “Round Up” charitable campaigns and gives the FMCA member a $100 U.S. Savings Bond. Since 1992 Ganis has donated nearly $426,500 to FMCA’s charitable programs. For more information about the Ganis Credit program, see page 192 of the January 2003 issue.
Several additional member benefits don’t exactly fit under any of the other categories.
Membership identification plates are sent to all new members so they can display and identify their membership in a social club that is totally dedicated to motorhome owners. The Membership Directory, published in each January issue of Family Motor Coaching and also found online at FMCA.com, enables members to identify a fellow member’s name and hometown by looking up the membership number. Towed car identification plates may be purchased from Kiley Mold Company, which makes the membership plates. The company advertises in this magazine; to find their ad, look in the “Advertising Index” under “FMCA Plates & Key Tags.”
The key tags made and sold by Kiley Mold are part of FMCA’s lost key return program. FMCA members who use the key tag know that if their keys are lost, whoever finds them can simply drop them in a mailbox for their return. The key tag has a small FMCA logo printed on one side, and a statement guaranteeing postage payment for the return of the keys on the other. Upon losing his or her keys, a member simply alerts the Membership Services Department at the national office. When the keys arrive at the office, they are packaged and mailed free of charge to the owner. Thus far, individuals who lost their keys have called us several days before the keys arrived, so we were able to mail them out immediately upon receipt. Kiley Mold sells the key tags for $2.50 each or five for $10.
For each member they successfully recruit to join the association, FMCA members receive a $5 coupon redeemable for free FMCA logo merchandise. FMCA logo merchandise is available at the association’s international conventions and at some area rallies; at the FMCA Store at FMCA.com; and via an ad that periodically appears in FMC magazine. The $5 coupon is also honored by Camping World and can be exchanged for Camping World merchandise.
RV Alliance America and FMCA offer an antitheft program to deter break-ins of members’ motorhomes. A reward of $2,500 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons breaking into a member’s motorhome. Two antitheft vehicle stickers are sent to all new members in their membership package. If you buy a new motorhome and need additional stickers, notify the Membership Services Department at the FMCA national office. The intent of the program is to deter crime, so please display your stickers in a prominent place on your motorhome.
Every FMCA member is entitled to place a free ad in “Motor Coach Mart,” the classified advertising section of Family Motor Coaching, once per calendar year. This ad includes 20 free words in a single issue of the magazine; additional words or advertising in other issues may be placed at a low rate.
Member business cards are available for members to exchange with individuals they meet on the road. These cards contain an FMCA logo and the bearer’s membership number, as well as the member’s contact information. Especially now that many people use e-mail, cell phones, and “snail mail,” it is much easier to share this information with newfound friends in the form of a printed, personalized FMCA business card. They are available from the national office at a rate of $20 for 200 cards, $25 for 500 cards, or $30 for 1,000 cards. An order form for these cards appears regularly in FMC magazine; check the Advertising Index under “FMCA Business Card.”
Last, but certainly not the least, of all of FMCA’s member benefits is the opportunity to form great and lasting friendships with like-minded travelers. One of the main reasons this association was started was for motorhomers to share the lifestyle with one another. Whether it is the membership identification plates (affectionately called “goose eggs”) that bring members together, or chapter memberships, we all have made such wonderful friends through this association.
In the past I have encouraged members to join an FMCA chapter and learn the true meaning of the fun and fellowship for which FMCA is known. Again, as I end this series of columns about member benefits, I encourage each and every one of you to become truly active in FMCA. Join a chapter today, and you will make friendships that will last a lifetime.