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In stressful times, ACS Member Insurance provides added peace of mind

by G. Bryan Balazs, Chair, Board of Trustees, Group Insurance Plans for ACS Members
June 13, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 23


Photo of G. Bryan Balazs
Credit: Courtesy of G. Bryan Balazs
G. Bryan Balazs

“It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Various versions of this quote have been attributed to Niels Bohr, Mark Twain, Yogi Berra, Nostradamus, and many others. With respect to the original author, I’ll add this thought: while the future can’t be predicted with absolute certainly, it can be planned for, and the ACS Member Insurance Program(MIP) offers you many options to add peace of mind to your plans for the future.

Insurance is a way to manage risk and is an excellent way to guard against low-probability, high-impact events. While not meant for addressing day-to-day challenges, insurance instead offers financial protection for uncommon events that can arise without warning but that could result in devastating outcomes.

Rapidly unfolding events in the first half of 2020 associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have brought this point to the forefront across almost the entire world. Occurrences that initially seemed to pose minimal threat to our livelihood are significant in retrospect. Seemingly overnight, our lives have changed in so many ways, and it is increasingly clear that the pandemic will create disruptions—and therefore uncertainty—that we are only beginning to understand.

Ensuring stability in your life can ease the stress of events or external forces that would otherwise add to the list of things that keep you up at night.

Because each of our personal and professional situations is different, we need to be able to tailor insurance products to meet a specific set of needs. While employer-offered insurance coverage may provide a good starting point, there are often gaps depending on one’s profession, stage in life, or other circumstances.

The MIP offers a wide range of quality insurance plans and coverage options including life, disability income, long-term care, professional liability, chemical educators legal liability, auto, home, pet, and more. The plans are competitively priced, renewable, and portable. As long as the group policy remains in effect and you maintain your ACS membership and pay your premiums, your coverage will continue, even if you change jobs or retire. In a nutshell, the MIP helps ACS members reach their long-term professional and financial goals and provides added assurance no matter what the future holds.

It is of course possible to go online and purchase insurance on your own. However, there is a well-equipped group that has already done a lot of background research on insurance products, and that group is the ACS Board of Trustees, Group Insurance Plans for ACS Members (BOT). The BOT reviews many potential insurance products, thus ensuring that the MIP offers products that appeal to ACS members because of their coverage, price competitiveness, and versatility. For over 50 years, the BOT has provided this service to our fellow members, and the trustees span a wide range of chemistry professions—from early career to retired, working in academia, industry, and government—to ensure that we capture all perspectives and needs.

The BOT continuously evaluates the MIP product offerings and features. We recently added Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+), a program that helps you handle medical emergencies when you’re away from home. It provides a critical safety net that helps pay for emergency costs your health insurance may not cover. EA+ protects you on every trip you take, domestic or abroad, on business or pleasure, whether for a few days or a few weeks at a time.

Also last year, we announced our partnership with Unilife, an online insurance platform, and AFL Insurance Brokers to offer life insurance coverage to members worldwide. Eligible international members have the opportunity to apply for a life insurance plan that features up to $500,000 in coverage, a guaranteed premium throughout the policy, and an optional accidental death benefit rider. Participation is subject to policy terms, conditions, and country availability.

In times like the first half of 2020, ensuring stability in your life can ease the stress of events or external forces that would otherwise add to the list of things that keep you up at night. It’s reassuring to know that there are some things you can control, and making sure you’re adequately covered against unnecessary risk is one of the ways to accomplish this. The MIP can help you fill the gaps in your existing benefit package with quality insurance coverage. Remember, it’s for you as well as for those you care about.

For more information on the insurance plans available, please visit the MIP at call 800-227-5558, ext. 2119, or email us at

Views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of C&EN or ACS.



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