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Aither Health: Worry-Free Healthcare for Equestrians

by Liz O'Connell | Nov 14, 2022, 2:18 PM EST

Aither Health: Worry-Free Healthcare for Equestrians

Bea de Lavalette (mounted) with trainer Shayna Simon.
Photo: Leslie Potter

Aither Health contributes peace of mind when setting up health insurance coverage curated to the needs of equestrians. This is particularly true for stables and farms in need of a healthcare benefit program for employees as well as principals. With so many options, variables, and cost differentials to decipher, Aither’s USEF-dedicated client relationship management team takes the worry out of setting up a plan that addresses the goals of the healthcare program while keeping costs affordable and on target and the administrative tedium to a minimum.

To learn more about how Aither Health is working to provide USEF members with healthcare benefit programs, we touched base with Aither Health client Bea de Lavalette and did a deep dive with Jeri Rohde, Aither Health’s dedicated USEF Client Relationship Manager.

How Aither Health Works for Bea de Lavalette

When Tokyo Olympic and FEI World Championships para dressage athlete Bea de Lavalette established Equidae Dressage Stables in 2020, she selected USEF partner Aither Health to provide health insurance for her employees and family from the get-go. Bea confirms, “Once we found that Aither Health offered an affordable possibility, we signed on.”

With four core staff members on the five-acre, 15-horse Loxahatchee, Fla., facility, Bea is clear about her commitment to health care, “For me, growing up in Europe where healthcare is covered, finding insurance that was affordable and provided great coverage was really important. 

“Among our benefit group, we have both singles and families enrolled. It's been helpful to them because they’re able to go to the doctors and even have surgeries when and where needed. It's been easy to find the care that we need. The doctors that we go to are covered; the same for pharmacies,” she explains.

Asked what three words would you use to describe Aither Health, Bea is clear: “Accessible. Helpful. Affordable.”

Jeri Rohde on How Aither Health Helps Equestrians

Aither Health’s Jeri Rohde isn’t only the company’s USEF-dedicated Client Relationship Manager, she’s also involved in the equestrian world herself.

“With my employer Aither Health becoming the official healthcare sponsor of the USEF, even my professional life gets to include what I love! Although my daughter Jillian is the rider of the family, equestrian life is a family event. We love that there are so many opportunities as an equestrian family to make horses part of our everyday lives.”

Left to right: Jillian Rohde, her off-the-track Thoroughbred Chubito, and mom Jeri Rohde.
Photo: Courtesy of Jeri Rohde

Jillian started riding when she was five and began competing in hunters and equitation in 2012 with Linda Fuller & Company in Medina, N.Y. In 2018, Jillian entered an internship prorgam with West Winds Stable in Eden, N.Y., and welcomed an off-the-track Thoroughbred to their family: Chubito, a.k.a. Full Steam Ahead. Now a college student, Jillian works with Jerry Dean at Rein Tree Stables and plans to compete ‘Choo Choo’ in 2023.

“I'm so proud of how hard she has worked with Chubito,” Jeri says. “Jerry has been an incredible resource specializing in training off-the-track horses and has helped Jillian strengthen her partnership with Chubito over this past year.”

Q. Sourcing the right health insurance plan is stressful and people often are overwhelmed by the costs of insurance and understanding plan options. Tell us about Aither Health and how your services streamline this for customers.

“Health Insurance has many different facets and that can make things confusing when trying to select the best plan for your employees, your family, or yourself,” Jeri says. “Aither Health is an innovative partner in the healthcare industry. We focus on providing our customers with a transparent experience that helps reduce the guesswork when trying to identify the best health plan for you. The bottom line is that customers want to know ‘Will I be covered? What will be covered? And how much will I owe?’

“At Aither Health, we pride ourselves on helping our clients create plans for their organizations that are clear and concise. We identify the frequently asked questions that often arise and we help our clients understand their plans in a way that helps relay the answers to those questions as transparently as possible. In addition, we help build  plans to meet the unique needs of our clients, understanding that people want more control over the cost of their health care choices.”

Q. Give an example of the type of plans available to a self-funded employer equestrian?

“We understand that self-funded employer equestrians want options that work for their farms, especially with the fact that they and their staff handle horses day in and day out and have a higher risk of unexpected injury. Aither Health has several self-funded plan options for USEF members to help give them the flexibility in their health care choices. Whether a self-funded employer equestrian has associates who are less hands on doing office work, or they have trainers who are saddling up everyday from dawn ’til dusk, there are affordable plan options with coverage to help meet those demands. 

“With Aither Health self-funded plans, employers can help design what their health plans will cover for their associates, and then they pay for all the actual claims as opposed to paying premiums for their associates who may never even need to use their benefits. 

“Aither's partnership with the USEF has helped provide plans that work for most budgets and needs. The lower cost MEC plan offers some of the best basic coverages with the most cost-effective premiums, whereas our MVP medal plans have slightly higher premiums with an opportunity for lower out-of-pocket costs at the time of service. The great thing about all our plans is that not everyone has to be on the same type of plan. You get to choose what works best for you.”

Q. Why is Aither Health the right choice for equestrians?

“Equestrians are taught in every discipline to be alert, aware, and conscious of their surroundings, not only with their own horse, but the others around them. 

“There could be unexpected mishaps when working everyday with 1,000-pound animals. Though equestrians manifest a positive outcome to every ride, every attempted jump, and every time they grab their horse’s lead shank, there is always a degree of unpredictability present because, just like humans, our horses can sometimes have an off day as well. 

“Aither Health gives equestrians affordable options to put health care coverage in place for those unexpected moments. Equestrians who are USEF individual members also have the option to elect health care coverage so they can spend less time worrying and more time investing in what they love: riding horses.”

Q. For our members, what are the top 3 reasons and benefits they would gain by utilizing Aither Health?

“1. Cost effective plan options to meet almost every budget.  

“2. Aither Health has telemedicine options on all plans to allow for more convenient health care services where it's not always easy to escape the responsibilities of being a horse owner.

There are chores, farm maintenance, training sessions, and conditioning that require countless hours on end. With the telemedicine option, USEF members don't have to change out of their breeches or be late for a lesson because they can schedule a one-on-one virtual appointment anytime, anywhere. And there's a $0 copay when you use the HBAeHealth, which is available on all USEF Aither Plans.

“3. Enrollment couldn't be easier.

Whether you're a USEF member looking to enroll yourself and your farm staff in a health care plan or you're a USEF member who is looking for individual coverage, Aither Health has your questions answered to get you set up in no time.”

Learn more about USEF member health coverage options at usef.org/join-usef/health-insurance and at aitherhealth.com/usef/.

Call the USEF member benefits Hotline to learn more 1-800-349-1082.