GHLIT rate increases slow

Premiums jump 1.1 percent, compared to a 12.8-percent hike in November

July 3, 2008 (published)
By Jennifer Fiala

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Tampa, Fla. –  Premiums jumped just 1.1 percent in May for the 33,384 veterinarians who carry the American Veterinary Medical Association's Group Health and Life Insurance Trust (GHLIT) insurance. 

That sharply contrasts last November's 12.8-percent increase and the 9.6-percent hike imposed in May 2007. 

The savings might have something to do with GHLIT's decision to switch PPO networks to Aetna Health Insurance, effective Dec. 1, 2007, as well as the recent employment of a chief executive officer to provide the Trust with "direction." According to the Trust's financial report, scheduled for presentation to AVMA's House of Delegates during the group's annual July meeting, approximately 36.5 percent to 38 percent of AVMA's membership carried GHLIT insurance during the past 18 months. Student PPO participation now includes 1,510 members, representing a 91-percent increase since May 2003. 

In other GHLIT business, the AVMA Executive Board amended the Trust's charter to include the endorsement, sponsorship and coverage of pet health insurance. By taking an "active position" on pet insurance, Trust officials hope to "guide and develop the direction of the industry." Whether or not the Trust plans to develop or offer its own pet health insurance program remained unclear at press time. 

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