East Grand district fishes for health insurance | SkyHiNews.com

East Grand district fishes for health insurance

Tonya Bina

The East Grand School District will be shopping around for health and related insurance for its 170 covered employees.

Upon a recommendation from the citizen-based district accountability committee, the district board voted on Jan. 17 to move forward with bidding employee heath benefits, currently provided by Colorado Employer Benefit Trust.

Accountability committee member Keith Sanders presented findings that East Grand Schools may be paying as much as $100 more per-employee per-month than other large agencies in Grand County that have the same insurance provider and same coverage. East Grand Schools presently pays $509.48 per-month, per-employee in health benefits.

The goal of shopping around health benefits, district accountability members stressed, is not to find lesser coverage that jeopardizes employees’ existing benefits, but to find the same or similar coverage for less money.

Claims have gone down at East Grand in recent years, Sanders said. “East Grand has been at the low end of increases, so it’s time to test the waters.”

East Grand normally shops its insurance every three years.

In consideration of enlisting an insurance consultant who would act as the liaison between the district and various brokers, East Grand board member Donald Scott, a retired IT consultant with the U.S. Department of Defense, volunteered to do the job for free.

By offering his assistance in making sure insurance candidates are eligible for pre-selection, administering requests for proposals, collecting proposals, fielding brokers’ calls during the bidding process and helping to evaluate insurance options, Scott’s involvement saves the district up to $15,000 – the expense of which was nearly voted on when the board considered hiring someone for the job.

Following that motion, board member Chip Besse offered a new motion that elected Scott.

“It seems daunting, it is daunting, but I’m ready for it,” Scott said the next day. He has 20 years experience in policy-making with the DOD, he said, and when he branched out with his own consulting businesses contracted through the department and through private firms, he shopped insurance for upwards of 2,000 employees.

“I do have the time and experience; and it’s something we can do,” he said.

Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603

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