Industry & Advocacy News
June 10, 2020
New York (June 10, 2020): The Book Industry Health Insurance Partnership (BIHIP), a coalition of 10 organizations, including the Authors Guild, has partnered with Lighthouse Insurance Group (LIG) Solutions to provide its members with a choice of health insurance options, including ACA-compliant major medical, Medicare/supplements, short-term policies, vision, dental, critical care, supplemental coverage, as well as small group/Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).
“Among the many financial challenges professional writers face today is identifying and securing affordable health insurance since they rarely qualify for group health insurance and are left on their own to navigate finding affordable insurance under the Affordable Care Act,” said Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild. “We have long sought a viable solution to this problem, and we are grateful to all of the groups who agreed to join together under the BIHIP umbrella to find a joint solution for self-employed individuals and small businesses in the industry. The group has worked together for over two years, and while true association health plans for individuals are still not available, we are fortunate to be able to offer LIG Solutions’s services to our members to find the best available ACA insurance and ancillary insurances suitable for them.”
This new benefit is expected to launch in Fall 2020. We will provide further details to members in the coming week. Qualified authors interested in participating with LIG Solutions and the other benefits that the Authors Guild offers should visit our membership page to join.
Since April 2018, BIHIP has been vetting various companies for association-sponsored health insurance programs. Initially, the goal of BIHIP was to create an association health plan (AHP),
after a presidential executive order expanded eligibility for organizations to pool resources across state lines to offer members health insurance at negotiated rates. BIHIP’s goal, however, had to be modified when the executive order was deemed illegal. The federal government appealed the ruling, and the case is still in the courts.
With expanded AHPs currently off the table, the coalition modified its goal to find a company that could provide the coalition members with extensive knowledge of the health insurance market to help members navigate the wide array of insurance options. Additionally, the coalition wanted to ensure that everyone could take advantage of the benefit, including association staff and their immediate families; individual members and their immediate families; business owners and their W-2 employees; 1099-employees/independent contractors; and association volunteers.
The agreement with LIG Solutions meets all of these parameters.
In addition to the Authors Guild, the BIHIP organizations include the American Booksellers Association, American Society for Indexing, Book Industry Study Group, Graphic Artists Guild, Independent Book Publishers Association, Novelists Inc., Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and Western Writers of America Inc.
About LIG Solutions
LIG Solutions is a division of Lighthouse Insurance Group, an insurance advisor with experience in the health, life and Medicare insurance industry. LIG Solutions offers insurance solutions for associations, societies, membership organizations and other affinity groups. LIG Solutions helps people understand their health benefits and different plan options to determine the appropriate health insurance option. While health insurance agents typically only represent one carrier, LIG broadens consumers’ choices and can sell insurance from many insurance companies in all 50 states.
About the Authors Guild
The Authors Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for writers. Its mission is to empower working writers by advocating for the rights of authors and journalists. The Guild protects free speech and authors’ copyrights, fights for fair contracts and a living wage and provides an engaged and welcoming community for all published authors. For more, visit www.authorsguild.org.