The Idaho School District Council has completed its forty-third year of operation as a cooperative service agency, serving Idaho school districts and affiliate organizations. The following report is provided to the membership and is being made available on the ISDC website www.idsdc.org for the review by the membership and the general public.
The staff of the ISDC remained the same as in the previous year. Dr. Michael Friend served his ninth year as the part-time ISDC Executive Director, and Debbie Fausett completed her eleventh year as the ISDC Office Manager. Tim Rosandick, Caldwell, served as the Chairman of the Board for the 2014-2015 term.
Throughout the course of the year, there were many opportunities to review the various services of the Council’s operation. The Council maintained its effort of providing to membership quality supplies, good service, and low prices. Business relationships with a variety of vendors, including COSTCO, were maintained.
The Council had a visible presence as an exhibitor at the Idaho Association of School Administrators’ Annual Meeting, Idaho Association of School Business Officials, and the Idaho School Boards’ Association. Regional “Spring Workshops” were also held. Through this exposure, the role and mission of the Council has been reinforced.
The partnerships with Blue Cross of Idaho, Willamette Dental of Idaho, Standard Life Insurance, People Systems, Valuation Northwest, Actuaries Northwest, and Business Psychology Associates were renewed and strengthened through on-going communications.
At the Council Board’s direction, the staff continues to explore new business partnerships that will offer products and services for Council member consideration, at a reduced price.
For many years, the Council has been able to provide a refund to the participants in the Statewide Schools Health Insurance Program, based on its Surplus Premium Agreement with Blue Cross of Idaho. This Agreement provides a sharing of the risks as well as the profits in the partnership between Blue Cross of Idaho and the ISDC. We have sought to reach a 91% target-loss ratio, striving to have the premiums collected and the claims paid, balance. This year, the Council funded its portion of the risk on behalf of the participating districts.
In February 2014, the Board approved exploration and application to “self-fund” our Statewide Schools Health Insurance program, including dental, vision, and the EAP offerings. The ISDC staff worked with legal counsel, Blue Cross of Idaho, our consultants, and the Idaho Department of Insurance to complete and file the necessary documentation to attain the approval of the Department of Insurance to become the Idaho School District Council Self-funded Benefit Trust. With the changes in federal law, and the impact on the insurance industry in general, it was the right time to make this change. The ISDC had the reserves required by the Department of Insurance; approval was officially granted in March 2015. The ISDC named the following individuals to comprise the first Board of Trustees for the ISDC Self-funded Benefit Trust: Jerry Evans, Jim Cobble, Jim Reed, Gordon Woolley, and Darren Uranga. In March 2015 the program was rolled out during the statewide regional workshops. The first official day of operation will be September 1, 2015.
To provide the necessary administrative support for the Board of Trustees, the ISDC hired Debbie Hainke as the Benefit Manager, working directly with the Board of Trustees and the participating districts, and others, regarding the various programs governed by the Trust.
The Idaho School District Council Board of Directors retains its role in the administration of the “over 65” health insurance offerings, the Dental Blue Connect offering (Willamette Dental), life, and other non-medical programs and offerings.
Idaho districts have already met the GASB 45 regulations. The Council continues to provide support to the school districts in addressing this compliance issue. An endorsement of the services of Kelly Grebinsky and Actuaries Northwest has been granted by the ISDC Board of Directors.
The membership of the ISDC for the 2014-15 school year totaled 146 members representing school districts, charter schools and affiliates.
There were 132 members enrolled in one or more portions of the Statewide Schools Health Insurance Program. Fifty-two members offered the Willamette Dental option, also known as Dental Blue Connect to their employees.
The unemployment claims monitoring program had twenty participants.
Employee assistance programs, offered through Business Psychology Associates and endorsed by both the Council and Blue Cross of Idaho, were offered in twenty districts.
Standards Life Insurance, a long-time ISDC endorsee, was offered as a benefit in forty-six districts.
No new districts have taken advantage of the discounted rates for the services of Northwest Valuations, an endorsee of the Council.
This report was prepared by Mike Friend, Executive Director, and Debbie Fausett, Office Manager, and presented to the Board of Directors on September 11, 2015.