Consumer Payment Card News

STARMARK MSA VISA CHECK CARD PROGRAM

Star Marketing and Administration, Inc. (Starmark) announced a partnership with American Health Value, L.L.C. of Boise, Idaho to market a Medical Savings Account (MSA) with high deductible medical insurance plans through a Visa check card, effective January 1, 1997.

Created by the passage of the Kassebaum/ Kennedy bill, MSAs combine a high deductible medical insurance plan with a tax-free savings component. Small group employers (1 to 50 employees) will be eligible to participate in this tax-free, interest-bearing opportunity now offered through Starmark and AHV.

In this new venture, Starmark will offer high deductible medical insurance plans, insured by its parent company, Trustmark Insurance, and the tax-free savings accounts administered by AHV. Individuals will be able to access their funds through a Visa check card.

“MSAs, in conjuction with Starmark’s high deductible plans, give small groups a powerful combination of lower-cost health insurance and a savings vehicle which encourages cost-effective health consumption,” said Bill Draznik, vice president, marketing, Starmark.

MSAs offer accountholders their own bank account for medical expenses, with contributions made by the employer or the employee, to provide a tax-sheltered resource to pay future medical expenses. Funds can be used towards any qualified medical expense allowed by Internal Revenue Section 213(d).

AHV offers a check book and a Visa check card through Home Federal Savings, allowing individuals immediate access to their MSA funds, which earn a competitive fixed interest rate on any balance. AHV also offers a prescription drug discount card, wellness information and educational materials. For more information visit their website at http://www.americanhealthvalue.com.

“American Health Value, in partnership with Visa U.S.A. and Home Federal Savings, has developed the most economic, user-friendly Medical Savings Account system in the country. We are very pleased that Starmark is setting the standard in the health insurance industry by linking their high deductible medical plans with the AHV MSA program,” said Greg Corrie, Chairman or the Board, American Health Value.

“Visa is pleased to have been selected as the payment card partner of American Health Value’s MSA Program” said Les Mann, senior vice president of healthcare marketing for Visa U.S.A. “Visa payment products–in this case the Visa check card –tied to the MSA will provide consumers with a cost-effective and convenient method of payment at a broad range of healthcare providers across the country. More than 220,000 healthcare facilities, including 95 percent of hospitals and more than half of all physician offices, currently accept Visa for payment.” For more information on Visa, visit Visa Expo at http://www.visa.com.

Starmark is a subsidiary of Trustmark, a leading mutual insurance company with more than $1 billion in assets and $21 billion of life insurance in force. Call your independent agent or Starmark’s Marketing Department for help you with all your group health and voluntary needs: 800-522-1246.

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