Approved: School Board passes new insurance changes

By Constancio Martinez, Jr.

Special to the PRESS

PI-ISD school board members during their December 3 workshop. Photo by Constancio Martinez, Jr.


The Point Isabel Independent School District held a special meeting this past Tuesday, December 3, with only two items on the agenda. 

Discussion, recommendation and action on the district’s insurance policies were on tap. Insurance consultant Roger Garza, with Valley Risk Consulting, based in McAllen, Texas, explained what savings the district could occur if they pass the two resolutions, RFP#1019-01 and RFP#1019-02.

RFP#1019-01 entails recommendations covering TPA, PBM and Stop Loss Insurance. Current Third Party Administrator (TPA) Annual Administrative Cost through Blue Cross/Blue Shield is $167,233.08, but the recommendation is going with Assured Benefit Administrators where their Annual Administrative Cost is $87,259.20 a savings of $79,973.88 with a 3-year rate guarantee. 

Current Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield encompasses an Annual Administrative Cost of $5,050.80 (variable) with a $20.65 Rx rebate PEPM. While the recommended PBM by Assured Benefit Administrators (Medalist Rx) has an Annual Administrative Cost of $26,634.50 (fixed), but the main benefit is the 100 percent of prescription rebates (Average of $87.00 Per Brand Name).

The Stop Loss Insurance (recommended by TEA) currently offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield has an Annual Policy Premium of $460,086 and the recommendation is going with Assured Benefit Administrators with an Annual Policy Premium of $436,439 which is a savings of $23,647. The new policy will also include aggregate coverage and advance funding which were not included by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. RFP#1019-01 was passed.

Roger Garza of Valley Risk Consulting during the PI-ISD school board’s December 3 workshop.

Garza next discussed RFP#1019-02 (Voluntary Insurance Products). The recommendation was to change the vision plan from Avesis to a vision plan by Ameritas. For just an increase of two cents the plan would increase the benefit allowance to the employee from $241 to $296 for contact lenses, and eyewear upgrades (progressives, standard polycarbonate and scratch resistant coating). Furthermore, Single vision, Bifocal and Trifocals would go from copays to being covered in full. 

Garza recommended changing from the current Dental plan provided by MetLife to a plan offered by Lincoln Financial. All benefits stayed the same, except the cost for an employee-only plan, which came down from $18.16 to $17.25.

The Cancer plan saw a decreased cost to the employee from $15.34 to $10.70 and the Hospital Indemnity option saw a drop of $20.91. 

When it came to lowering the costs of the long term and short term disability rates, Garza recommended a plan provided by ENUM, stating, “Employees that purchase this, there is almost a 50 percent reduction in rates.” As far as the accidental plan the cost would go down from $21.15 to 12.44 while increasing the accidental death benefit from $100,000 to $150,000. 

Before the next item RFP#1019-02 was discussed, PI-ISD superintendent Theresa Alarcon told the board “What’s critical to me and to our school district is that the cost for employees, but that the benefits don’t go down.” 

RFP#1019-02 resolution passed.

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