Jerry Yeatts, F390000
FMCA Executive Director
I love the fall. With the leaves turning and a chill in the air, it is time to cheer on our favorite college and professional football teams. I was hoarse for two days following a recent professional football game, the result of cheering the team on to victory. I’m absolutely positive it was all the yelling I did that afternoon that pushed them to the win. Whether our favorite team wins or loses, we armchair quarterbacks always seem to analyze the game and wonder how a different play could have altered the end result of the game.
The cameraman often focuses on the coach and coaching staff when a play is being called from the skybox above, and all viewers can see is the coach’s eyes as he covers his mouth with the card and signals the next play to the quarterback. Of course, players and fans alike hope that he makes the right call and that forward progress results. On the Sunday afternoon mentioned above, I recall some great moments as the team ran the ball down the field and scored. But there also were times when I wondered what the coaching staff had been thinking as they decided to fake a field goal, only to get hit behind the line of scrimmage and give up the ball to the opposing team. In the end, it was fundamental football that prevailed, and my beloved team won.
As noted in the August issue of Family Motor Coaching, FMCA’s relationship with the former provider of the FMCAssist program ended September 30. And, last month, via the magazine and via e-mail and the Web site, FMCA announced the new FMCAssist program. For those who still may have questions, I thought I would offer some additional information about how this change came about.
Research and negotiations related to the new medical evacuation program took a number of months. The Evac Search Committee was appointed in January 2012 to begin looking at possible new providers for this benefit. In February, the committee identified the major components for such a program. Requests for proposal were sent to 16 companies in March, with five responding. While the five proposals were similar in terms for most of the services provided, two did not offer return service for members’ motorhomes and towed vehicles.
Research indicated that based upon a membership of 85,000 families, the annual premium FMCA would pay for an association-sponsored program was between $347,000 and $2 million. FMCA also investigated the option of a member-paid, voluntary participation program, and the quotes for that type of program ranged from $85 to $290 per year for individuals, and $105 to $444 per year for families. The Evac Search Committee and Executive Board recommended to the Governing Board a program that would offer the best benefit to the membership at the most competitive and reasonable price.
The final decisions and approval for the program were made by the Governing Board at its annual meeting in Indianapolis this past August. The Governing Board encompasses delegates elected by their chapters, plus the FMCA national officers, for a total of 473. At the meeting in Indianapolis, more than 312 delegates, representing a quorum of 66 percent, listened to a presentation about the components of the new program as compared with the previous offering. A discussion identifying the pros and cons of a voluntary member participation option versus an FMCA-sponsored option then took place.
Following are some of the facts related to the decision of the Governing Board to select the voluntary member participation option offered by Seven Corners:
- An average of 18 members per year during the past three years made use of FMCA medical evacuation coverage, with an average claim payment between $16,000 and $20,000. FMCA paid in excess of $1.3 million to have this coverage in place over the course of those three years.
- With the new FMCAssist program provided by Seven Corners, all members — family, associate, and commercial — may contact Seven Corners at the special FMCAssist toll-free number of (877) 202-4176 or (317) 582-2619 (collect from Mexico) in order to arrange for 21 different services, including emergency medical evacuation/repatriation coordination, emergency medical reunion coordination, return of mortal remains, return of dependents, vehicle return, pet return, prescription medication and glasses replacement, and numerous travel concierge services. If you do not wish to purchase the Voluntary Member Participation Plan at $85 per year for an individual or $105 per year for a family, you may still arrange for these services through Seven Corners when needed and be billed for the specific service requested. Members who opt to purchase the Voluntary Member Participation Plan will receive all the benefits up to certain maximum limits.
- The new Voluntary Member Participation Plan option will pay covered expenses up to a maximum benefit of $500,000 incurred if any covered injury or illness commences during the period of coverage and results in medically necessary emergency medical evacuation or in repatriation of mortal remains. The former plan limited the benefit to a maximum of $300,000.
- As with the previous FMCAssist program, this coverage provides medical transportation from the hospital a member is taken to in an emergency to the nearest hospital that can provide the level of care needed for the medical emergency that occurs while traveling. The program also provides for medical escort transportation home after hospitalization, if recommended by the attending physician. All services must be coordinated and approved by FMCAssist in advance.
- The new program is available to individuals traveling in a motorhome, an automobile, or by other means, whereas the previous program was limited to motorhome travel. (The new Voluntary Member Participation Plan still requires that members be 100 miles or more from home to be eligible for benefits.)
- With the exception of vehicle return (limited to trips in North America), all services that are part of the new plan from Seven Corners are available worldwide, whereas the previous plan was limited to travel in North America.
- The new FMCAssist program allows members to designate the location for medical evacuation, repatriation of mortal remains, and return of dependents, and does not limit that location to a place considered “home.”
- The maximum dependent age has been increased from 23 to 26 years.
- The Voluntary Member Participation Plan provides coverage for pet return up to a limit of $1,000.
- Unlike the former plan, the new FMCAssist program does not limit coverage available to associate members traveling only to and from an FMCA-sponsored event.
As with any insurance or insurance-type benefit, we hope we never need to use it, but we rely on these types of programs to provide peace of mind when we are traveling and to be there should we need assistance. The new FMCAssist program offers enhanced peace of mind anywhere you may travel, whether 100 miles away from home or across the ocean.
Want to learn more about the new FMCAssist program? A description of this new benefit appeared in the October 2012 issue of Family Motor Coaching. An ad for the program appears on page 21 of this issue of the magazine. You may also request information and sign up for this plan by calling toll-free, (877) 202-4176 , or (317) 582-2619 (collect from Mexico), or by visiting FMCA.com and clicking the tab under Benefits.
I do sometimes question the choices made by those leading my favorite professional football team. But they have chosen to concentrate on the fundamentals and have managed to stay competitive without investing millions upon millions trying to attract a key player for the franchise. It has taken them a few years to convince their fans and themselves that was the correct path to take. Likewise, FMCA has continued to concentrate on the fundamentals and on the principles that have made this association a success for nearly 50 years. In the end, I’m still going to root for the home team.
New Mail Forwarding Option Available
Do you have a busy travel schedule? Need to receive your mail quickly? FMCA Mail Forwarding can help!
FMCA has teamed up with FedEx to offer substantially lower shipping rates to send your mail via FedEx Overnight, 2 Day, Express Saver, or Standard Ground. Call the FMCA Mail Forwarding office at (513) 388-5315 or (800)448-1212, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, to receive a price quote and scheduled delivery time for your next mailing through FedEx.
FMCA Mail Forwarding is here to make sure that receiving your mail is as smooth as the open road.
Holiday Office Hours
The FMCA national office will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 22 and 23, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The office will reopen at 8:00 a.m., Eastern Time, Monday, November 26.
The office also will be closed Monday and Tuesday, December 24 and 25, and Monday and Tuesday, December 31 and January 1, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.