What is a MEWA?

Article by: Elizabeth Ingram 
Vice President of People Strategy, Insurance Trust 

MEWA is an acronym for Multiple Employer Welfare Association.  It’s a group of employers with some sort of commonality that joins together, primarily for the purpose of offering employee benefits.

Here in Maine, many Credit Unions and Credit Union Service Organizations (CUSOs) are part of a MEWA named the Maine Credit Union League Insurance Trust (MCULIT) that offers medical insurance.  However, a MEWA can offer other benefits (dental, vision, etc. as well).  The idea is that working together can provide cost savings or better benefits for employers and their employees.

MEWAs have to be approved by the state Bureau of Insurance (BOI) since they operate a bit like insurance companies.  However, a MEWA generally works with an insurance company to either run the health insurance plan completely (a fully-funded plan) or provide a network of providers, negotiate discounts, and provide stop-loss insurance (a self-funded plan).  MCULIT is a self-funded plan which works with Anthem.

If you are a Maine Credit Union or CUSO who isn’t already part of our MEWA, MCULIT, and you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to our Employee Benefits Specialist, Pam Huntington at phuntington@insurancetrust.us or 207-641-5410.