Power in numbers
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013
As chief financial officer of the Loveland City School District, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain to you – our Loveland investor – one way the administration has worked to keep costs low. One of the largest expenditures to the district (nearly $5 million per year) is the health, dental, life, and vision insurance we provide to employees – it is second only to salaries. To help keep this cost under control, Loveland City Schools became a founding member of the Greater Cincinnati Insurance Consortium (GCIC) in 1990. GCIC originally began with 11 schools, and today has grown to include 13 public schools and one county educational center (Hamilton) bringing the total to 14 entities.
The purpose of the consortium is to establish and maintain a fund to provide health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance and other insurance benefits to employees, their dependents and designated beneficiaries, and to set aside funds for such purposes. Any of such benefits may be provided in whole or in part through one or more insurance policies. The district currently obtains health, dental, life, and vision insurance from GCIC. By belonging to this consortium we are able to take advantage of preferred pricing structures. Since its inception the consortium has evolved and changed carriers to access better premium rates; it has also performed enrollment audits to make sure we were only insuring current employees and their family members. GCIC became self-insured in 2007.
Since the GCIC began in 1990, the insurance industry has implemented many changes that continually forced the GCIC to make additional changes, including plan design changes to keep the premiums as low as possible but still maintain good coverage. Currently our employees pay 15 percent of the annual premiums for health insurance. The monthly premium rate in 2012 was only 7.3 percent higher than the premium rate in 2007. The district will see a 5 percent premium increase in 2013 and this does include a plan design change to keep the small increase in premiums. While the district is seeing increases, our single premium rate is an average 10 percent lower than other consortiums in the surrounding counties, and for family plan premiums ours are an average of 15.9 percent lower than other consortiums in the surrounding counties. This translates to approximately $651,291 cost avoidance per year compared to other districts in this area.
As medical insurance costs in the United States have continued to increase exponentially over the years, the district has worked very hard to keep the increases to the bare minimum. We have found a true power in numbers by working with neighboring districts to keep quality high and costs low. It is just one more example of our constant quest to manage operations in a fiscally conservative manner.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the district’s finances.
Loveland City School District Treasurer