An employee survey used last year to rate health care providers may be going away.
Officials discussed the survey at a Killeen Independent School District board workshop Tuesday. Terry Delano, board vice president for the Killeen ISD board, said last year was the first time since he was appointed to the board in 2006 that the district used the employee survey to get input on health care providers.
An evaluation by the Texas Association of School Business Officials suggested a different solution.
TASBO’s findings, which suggested having a committee look into the needs of employees, were presented to the school board during the workshop.
Superintendent Robert Muller previously requested that TASBO conduct the review of the district’s employee health insurance proposal process.
Steve Cook, Killeen ISD’s chief personnel officer, said during last year’s health insurance process, the district used surveys in addition to a subcommittee of the District Employee Advocacy Committee, which is comprised of a representative from every department and every campus.
“They wanted a better feel of what the employees wanted,” Delano said.
TASBO’s evaluation also made suggestions for avoiding higher compensation fees to brokers.
Should or shall?
Based on a request for proposals drawn up by the district’s purchasing and employee benefits departments, “the broker compensation should be no more than a flat 0.25 percent of billed premium and must be included in the proposed premiums” of the employee health insurance plan.
However, because the proposal states “should” instead of “shall” brokers were able to charge the district a higher overhead charge.
Blue Cross Blue Shield paid $170,799 to Bigham Kliewer Chapman & Watts in compensation and fees incurred by the district’s employee health plan in 2012. According to the evaluation, the compensation was 0.87 percent higher than the flat rate of 0.25 percent.
The district did not disclose the amount of fees the company received from the selection of Blue Cross Blue Shield for the 2013-2014 health insurance plan.
Ken Chapman, a managing partner at Bigham, Kliewer, Chapman & Watts, said he is “not making money off the school district.”
“I would like to state that compensation for brokers or consultants, doesn’t really matter,” he said. “Just because we charge compensation or we charge someone to work on it, doesn’t mean that you don’t benefit from it.”
Chapman said despite the district losing more than $100,000 in compensation, employees get $800,000 in savings due to a lower renewal rate for premiums.
“We feel like we do a very credible and worthy job (for) the small amount that we’re compensated,” he said.
Delano said compensation was not the issue.
“What bothers me is the employees having to pay so much more money for insurance,” he said. “In my opinion, that’s what happened last year and I’ve got the facts to prove it. I’m not against somebody making money, but I am against somebody making a lot of money if it means our employees have to pay.”
With the controversy over last year’s health insurance plan and the evaluation provided to the district about its health insurance’s procurement process, board members said they plan to take the suggestions into consideration next year.
The association also suggested the district hire a consultant to draw up the proposals and reach out to providers outside the Killeen area in order to get more competitive proposals from insurance companies, brokers and agents. It also suggested providing at least six months for companies to submit proposals.
For the 2013-2014 health insurance plan, the evaluation states Killeen ISD only provided “10 days for a response from an insurance company in which to submit a multimillion-dollar proposal,” which is not sufficient time to get bids from multiple agencies.
“One critical point is to take what these gentlemen have provided (in their evaluation) and use it to ask, ‘What do we do from here,’” said board member Corbett Lawler.
“How do we take this information they’ve provided and use that as a stepping stone to fine tune our process and continue to work to provide the best product for KISD?”