A local insurance agency likely will receive thousands of dollars for arranging a deal between the Killeen Independent School District and its health care provider for the 2013-2014 school year.
The district confirmed it used Killeen-based Bigham Kliewer Chapman & Watts as the agent for its employee health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield for the current school year.
The district was unable to disclose the amount of fees the company will receive from the selection of Blue Cross Blue Shield this year, as KISD does not pay such fees directly.
“An agreement for fees is structured and held between the plan provider and the agent,” read a statement from the district. “Since the district is outside any fee agreement between agent and provider, we can only speak to what is reflected on the IRS Form 5500.”
IRS Form 5500 is a required report on benefit plans offered to employees. No 5500 information is available for the current fiscal year, but according to last year’s filing, $170,799 was paid by Blue Cross Blue Shield to Bigham Kliewer Chapman & Watts for the district’s employee health plan in 2012.
The fees for 2013 wouldn’t need to be paid had the district’s board of trustees voted to approve the plan recommended by the district’s administration.
At a Sept. 26 meeting, Superintendent Robert Muller recommended the approval of TRS ActiveCare, a health care program run by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
Despite the recommendation, four of the district’s board members voted to select Blue Cross Blue Shield in a split vote.
ActiveCare representative Howard Goldman said the ActiveCare system does not pay commissions or fees to agents.
“There are no commissions or broker fees associated with TRS-ActiveCare,” Goldman wrote in an email to the Herald.
Killeen Trustee Terry Delano was one of the two members who voted against choosing Blue Cross Blue Shield at the Sept. 26 meeting. Delano argued that Blue Cross premiums were more expensive than those offered by TRS Active Care, and would hurt employees.
“It’s not our money; it’s their money,” Delano said. “People are very worried that they will be paying for these premiums.”
Contact Chris McGuinness at email@example.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.