Department News EDUCATION & MARKETING Winding Down a Virtual 2020

By Jackson Hataway, Executive Vice President of Communications, Marketing & Member Services

As we enter the winter months, it’s very easy to be drawn to the promise of a New Year. Everyone is more than ready to leave 2020 behind in the hope that 2021 will see us move closer to a return to normal. Te MBA Education Department is no stranger to that feeling. We would like nothing more than to bring our bankers together in person for seminars, conferences, dry chicken and watered-down tea. However, we must remind ourselves there is much more to be done in 2020.

At the time of this writing, it’s likely that we will host our Executive Management Conference virtually. Although we will miss the opportunity to come together, we are excited to deliver an experience that will capitalize on everything we’ve learned over the past year. Aſter putting on countless webinars, online seminars and virtual conferences, the MBA staff is well-versed in what works and what doesn’t in the digital world.

We know a virtual conference will allow us to bring in speakers who might otherwise be inaccessible because of travel or prior commitments. Now, they simply click from one Zoom meeting to the next. We know virtual trade shows allow our vendors, who are key to operating your banks effectively and efficiently, to showcase their products and answer questions your entire team may bring to the table. We know virtual small group discussion forums allow you to have focused peer conversations on key areas of concern while networking with other bankers. Perhaps most important, we know a virtual event opens the doors for staff within your bank who ordinarily may not be able to attend our premier conference to take part — and we are thrilled to welcome them.

If we must host it virtually, we hope it is the ONLY virtual Executive Management Conference we will ever orchestrate, but we also intend to make it a powerful, productive and enjoyable way to close 2020.


Te Short and the Long of MBA VEBA By John L. Hunt, CLU, President, MBA VEBA Insurance Services

27.6% — that’s a big honking number when it describes an increase in expense. For that matter, 16.7% also is in the noisemaker category. At VEBA, the 27.6% is the unit cost increase for inpatient hospital claims during the past year, and the 16.7% is the increase in pharmacy brand prescription costs. Most important, these significant increases are occurring on claim costs totaling millions of dollars.

It is generally true that a relatively small number of medical claims like inpatient stays and brand-name drug prescriptions drive most of the total dollars in claim costs. When a health plan also sees an increase in the number of severe claims (greater than $100,000), these factors create inflationary cost trends that require premium increases and the potential for increased cost sharing from covered individuals. Tis is exactly the situation for the MBA VEBA 2021 renewal effective Jan. 1. And, in the short view of next year, there will be an overall rate increase on current plans of 11.2%. In addition, a few available plans will have small increases in deductibles and out-of-pocket limits.

Tese changes are designed to ensure the current MBA VEBA Trust plans are adequately funded and reserved for the coming year. We have noted in the past that the hard truth of rising health care costs has become accepted in the group insurance marketplace. Most attempts to mitigate costs have come from insurance carriers and employer plan sponsors in the form of medical case management, discounted fees in preferred provider networks and increased cost sharing. As such, the annual renewal review is like an arms race that mostly affords leverage to the provider that can set uncontrolled retail pricing on which to offer discounts.

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