Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Virginia Colleges Form Health Care Consortium
The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) has formed a benefits health care benefits consortium, designed to keep health care affordable. CICV, an association of Virginia non-profit private colleges, formed the program after studying similar efforts in a handful of states where private colleges have formed similar consortia.
The members are: Bluefield College, Bridgewater College, Emory & Henry College, Ferrum College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Lynchburg College, Mary Baldwin College, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Sweet Briar College and Virginia Intermont College.
CICV is the only organization in Virginia authorized by the Virginia General Assembly to operate a self-insured plan of this type. “This unique partnership shows that private colleges are serious about health care cost containment and good stewardship of tuition dollars and contributions,” said Robert Lambeth, CICV president.
“Quality employee benefit plans also serve to attract the best faculty and staff to private colleges in Virginia so that we can continue to provide the finest liberal arts education available anywhere in the country.”
Twelve CICV colleges united after eight years of research and planning to form the consortium. With 3,000 employees at the 12 institutions, the consortium can achieve more flexibility in medical plan design, enhanced benefits, more effective cost controls, greater presence in the health care marketplace, and the stability that comes with being part of a larger risk pool. The consortium will be able to use the extensive data available to a self-insured program to gain a better understanding of health care issues that are driving costs and help member colleges mitigate those costs.
In addition to lowered insurance costs, the consortium board will try to reduce demands on the health care system through the implementation of wellness programs.
KSPH, a Richmond benefits consulting firm, provides consulting services to the consortium. After extensive research and a competitive bid process, the consortium contracted with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to administer health care coverage for 2010. Anthem brings a network of providers and claims management experience to the consortium. The benefits consortium has recently hired Tim Klopfenstein, FSA, CERA as executive director.