Medical Insurance Plan (MIP)

What is the full meaning of MIP? IT simply means Medical Insurance Plan.

Medical Insurance Plan

Medical Insurance Plan (MIP)

The Medical Insurance Plan (also called “MIP”) is a plan for locally recruited staff, retirees and their eligible dependents at designated duty stations outside of UN Headquarters.

For duty stations that have implemented the benefits/human resources modules of Umoja (for instance), enrolment must be done through Employee Self Service (ESS) upon a qualifying work or life event. Information on eligibility rules and benefits are available in the newly issued administrative instruction (ST/AI/2015/3) and information circular (ST/IC/2015/8). For all others, enrolment is handled by the local human resources office.

It is important to note that all inquiries related to MIP are handled by the local human resources.

The present Third Party Administrator (TPA) of the plan is Cigna International Health Benefits, a global health services company with millions of customers in over 192 countries and more than one million partnerships with hospitals, doctors and healthcare facilities. Cigna provides administrative services to the UN which includes processing claims, issuing letters of guarantees to medical facilities, negotiating with health care providers for preferential rates and direct payment of expenses, customer service, and other related services. Information on Cigna, how to submit claims and request letters of guarantees, and how to contact them are available in the Member Plan Description.

Local staff members and retirees are reminded that the MIP is designed and priced for local use and does not provide worldwide coverage. The only exceptions to this rule are the following:

  • Medical emergency when an active staff member is on official business travel outside of the country of duty station
  • Medical evacuation approved by the UN to a recognized regional medical center
  • In the case of countries with inadequate medical facilities for whom a regional area of care has been approved.
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High-deductible health plan (HDHP)

Plans with much higher deductibles than traditional health plans—primarily providing coverage for catastrophic illness—have been introduced. Because of the high deductible, these provide little coverage for everyday expenses—and thus have potentially high out-of-pocket expenses—but do cover major expenses. Coupled with these are various forms of savings plans.

Tax-preferenced health care spending account Coupled with high-deductible plans are various tax-advantaged savings plans—funds (such as salary) can be placed in a savings plan, and then go to pay the out-of-pocket expenses. This approach to addressing increasing premiums is dubbed ” consumer-driven health care”, and received a boost in 2003 when President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. The law created tax-deductible Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), untaxed private bank accounts for medical expenses, which can be established by those who already have health insurance. Withdrawals from HSAs are only penalized if the money is spent on non-medical items or services. Funds can be used to pay for qualified expenses, including doctor’s fees, Medicare Parts A and B, and drugs, without being taxed.

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CONCLUSION

Enrolment in the MIP is automatic for staff and is voluntary for their eligible dependents. It is also voluntary for retirees who meet the eligibility criteria for after-service health insurance coverage.

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