Buckeye Farm News
By Rick Chiricosta, President & CEO Medical Mutual of Ohio
Our partnership with Farm Bureau, announced more than a year and a half ago, brought together two of the biggest mutual organizations in Ohio to offer Farm Bureau members quality, affordable healthcare coverage. I want to assure you that we are trying hard each and every day to live up to that commitment.
One important reason that Medical Mutual was chosen by Farm Bureau as its health insurance carrier is the fact Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization – in Ohio, for Ohioans. Because Medical Mutual is an Ohio company, we have a shared set of values.
And when it comes to sharing, it is interesting to know that this year we are both celebrating a 75-year milestone. In 1934 the Farm Bureau Cooperative Association organized under cooperative law with more than 10,000 members. That same year, The Cleveland Hospital Service Association was founded. It was the very beginning of our company that later became known as Medical Mutual of Ohio. I also find it amazing that our organizations were born out of the Great Depression and managed to survive some extremely turbulent economic times. They say history repeats itself – well, here we are again.
As businesses large and small feel the pinch of the recession, they are putting more of the burden of paying for health insurance on employees. Some companies have stopped providing healthcare benefits at all. Many people are now turning to individual policies for coverage.
The individual market used to be seen as primarily a stop-gap if you lost your job or you were at the limiting age as a student. Now, we are seeing individual insurance becoming a long-term healthcare solution for more and more people.
Medical Mutual created a special product for Farm Bureau known as SuperMed One/Ohio Farm Bureau. The SuperMed network of doctors and hospitals is the largest network in the state and the network that provides the best value to healthcare consumers.
That coverage, by the way, also includes not only life and disability, but a number of wellness and prevention initiatives, which make the product especially attractive to the wellness-minded customer.
And that is something Medical Mutual really believes in – wellness. Nobody should argue with the fact that taking better care of ourselves is the single most important step we, as individuals, can take to help hold the line against higher healthcare costs.
We have research that clearly shows a healthy diet and exercise improves quality of life. Healthier people make for a healthier workforce and healthier productivity for Ohio’s companies.
Medical Mutual, much like Farm Bureau, has accomplished a great deal in our 75 years of existence. I know I speak for our more than 2,600 Ohio employees when I say that we are proud of our heritage as Ohio’s oldest and largest health insurance company.
I hope you have seen the advertising slogan we have used over the past few years: “We live here, we work here.” Well, I believe that is more than just a tag line. In just a few words, it says everything about Medical Mutual’s commitment to Ohio Farm Bureau and all of Ohio.