Oak Creek — The Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District may have a new health insurance provider, at a discount of $520,000 annually.
The discount, to be shared by the district and employees, may come from a switch in providers from Wisconsin Educators Association to United Health Care. The district received the lower bid from UHC after exploring the option of self-funding their insurance.
WEA initially offered to have the district renew at no additional cost for 2014. After asking WEA to give them the option to self-fund by 2014 or the same zero increase in rates for 2015 and hearing no reply, Human Resources Director Troy Hamblin decided to explore options.
He sent out a request for prices from three insurance providers and found that, while both Anthem and United Health Care would allow for the district to become self-funded, the risk was too great.
A self-funded plan would essentially allow the district to pay the provider to administer the claims while the district paid the health bills. The district explored the option because it would help mitigate fees incurred through the Affordable Health Care Act, which took affect Tuesday, but found they were at risk of paying $800,000 to $1.3 million more than they currently pay.
The next option was to go through either UHC or Anthem as their providers. Both offered generally the same discount, but according to Hamblin, UHC had a greater coverage network. When he told WEA he was thinking of switching to UHC, they told them they'd match UHC's rates. Hamblin told them the deal was off.
"I don't think it's a good way of doing business," he said. "We put a request out and gave them the first shot at it. Only when they knew they weren't going to get the business, did they come back just matching."
While Hamblin expects rates to go down for employees on both single and family plans, participants will lose the drug card benefit provided by WEA. Where now the insured pays $10 for any generic medication, they would pay a 20 percent fee under UHC.
The School Board is set to vote on Hamblin's recommendation Oct. 14.
WHAT: vote on switching healthcare insurance providers
WHO: Oak Creek-Franklin School Board
WHEN: 6 p.m. Oct. 14
WHERE: district office, 7630 S. 10th St.
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