The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey on Friday announced members could partake in a new association health insurance plan.
Association health plans permit members of a trade group to pool their buying power and get a better deal than those companies could obtain by going it alone.
“AASP/NJ qualified and has been approved for this program, which allows the association to purchase healthcare benefits at competitive rates and provides unlimited major medical group coverage for businesses ranging from small owner-operated shops to megastores,” the trade group said.
The organization is working with allied board member Joe Amato Sr.’s Amato Insurance Agency (a division of World Insurance Associates) on the initiative.
“Because of AASP/NJ’s buying power, we have exceptionally priced products as low as $310 per month for an individual and $932 per month for a full family regardless of its size or age,” Amato said in a statement. “Under the Association Health Plan, we can provide members with solid medical insurance that could be considerably lower than what they are paying now.”
Amato Insurance Principal Joe Amato Jr. said Monday these costs referred to the employee’s insurance. He said there was no cost for a business to start the plan.
Amato Jr. said six plans existed, each one offering options for individual employees, a married couple, an employee with children and a full family.
Nationwide, Bureau of Labor Statistics March 2020 data indicates the average private sector company paid $457.62 of the flat medical premium for a single individual and $1,121.07 of a flat family medical premium each month. Employers on average covered 78 percent of medical premiums for single individuals and 66 percent of family medical premiums.
Assuming their employees paid the remainder, that would work out to an average overall single medical premium of $586.69 and family medical premium of $1,698.59.
Collision Repair Education Foundation and I-CAR polling found nearly 70 percent of collision companies offering health insurance in 2016 and 2019 — though the percentage had fallen about 10 points from 2013.
All AASP-NJ members are eligible to participate, even those out-of-state. Multiple deductible and health savings accounts (HSA) options are available. Perks include out-of-state usage “a large national network,” a Teladoc service available at all hours for no co-pay and a quick “no-hassle service line” for members, according to the AASP-NJ.
“No more waiting for two hours for an answer!” Amato Sr. said in a statement.
Anyone interested should contact Amato Jr. at 732-530-6740, ext. 412, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or AASP-NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant at 732-922-8909. Nonmembers interested in joining the AASP-NJ can contact Bryant or call the organization at 973-667-6922.
“We are really proud to be the first to bring this opportunity to New Jersey,” Amato Sr. said in a statement.
The AASP-NJ’s website on Monday also asked members to complete a health questionnaire to help determine rates. It said data would be kept private and survey participation would not commit the business to anything.
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists launched a similar association program in 2019 for retirement accounts.
That association program also leverages buying power by reducing fees once the collective amount of retirement assets hits various thresholds. It allows members to split the cost of mandatory annual audits.
Its structure also might save owners time handling due diligence and fiduciary responsibilities.
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey, Jan. 25, 2021
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey logo. (Courtesy AASP/NJ)
Data from a Collision Repair Education Foundation and I-CAR study that got a response to at least one question from more than 675 shops. (Provided by CREF)