I am going to start my part of the newsletter this month with a brief, basic primer on how Tri-Valley procures health insurance for eligible employees. Due to special legislation, Community Action Agencies are allowed to participate in self-insured insurance pools with local units of government. In Tri-Valley’s case we are members of the Northwest Service Coop’s City/County/Other Governmental Agency pool. The pool has around 35 members consisting of cities, counties, libraries, corrections, community action, housing authorities, etc. Together the members pool together approximately $22 million in premiums to cover over 4,000 individuals. From time to time, I will be asked why Tri-Valley participates in a self-insured pool. The answer overall is fairly complex and nuanced but there are a couple of points I make during any discussion about Tri-Valley’s pool membership. The first point is that the Northwest Service Coop keeps administrative costs very low. Roughly 94.5 cents out of every dollar paid by participants goes to actual health care costs. According to a Minnesota Department of Health study in 2013, that is almost 2 cents per dollar lower than the average in Minnesota. That means Tri-Valley gets to access Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s network and negotiated provider discounts with an admin rate approximately 24% below average. Also, pool membership allows members to share risk. Through high case pooling and stop-loss reinsurance that the pool collectively purchases members can limit the risk presented by extraordinarily large cases. Tri-Valley has both benefitted from this arrangement and indirectly contributed to help other members over the years. Was Tri-Valley a contributor or beneficiary this year? Unfortunately, we were a beneficiary. Details are still being worked out by Management and the Board of Directors but we will see an increase in premiums this year that is higher than it has been in recent history. Internal communication will go out as soon as the rates for 2016 are finalized. In addition to considering Health Insurance options, Tri-Valley’s board will also consider responses to an RFP for 401(k) retirement services. Three companies are vying for Tri-Valley’s retirement business. Participants can expect to hear who the board selects as our retirement services provider shortly after Labor Day. I close this month with a “Thank You” to an individual who has been contributing to the mission of Tri-Valley for 32 years but has now decided to seek new challenges. Phil Wold is retiring with his last day being October 2, 2015. Thanks, Phil for all you have done over the years.
In This Issue:
In This Issue:
* CEO News and Notes * Winnebago Library Visit * Bloggers Wanted * Sleepy Eye Gets Muddy * Crookston Nite 2 Unite * Tri-Valley Walking Challenge
* Cowboy / Cowgirl Day in Rochester * Upcoming Events * Breckenridge Open House * Tri-Valley Proclamation * St. Cloud Roadeo Roundup * Toddler Head Start Teacher Aims to Better Community
Tri-Valley August Newsletter