One would expect schools to be a source of learning. But the good ones are constantly educating themselves as well. In fact, Newport Children’s School learned a valuable lesson when it comes to providing employee health insurance: Employers can save with a single plan.
With five campuses in in east King County, Newport has 200 employees, including teachers and staff. Five years ago, the school saw a double-digit increase in its health plan costs from a well-known local plan provider. Seeking to control their costs—and provide their employees the best health care possible—Newport switched to a PPO from Group Health (now Kaiser Permanente).
Said Joyce Griffin, office manager, “We are a tight knit group and try to respect everyone’s wishes. So we chose to give your teachers and staff the option of selecting a Group Health physician or staying with their current doctors in they desired.” When all was said and done, nine percent of the employees chose to keep their own doctors.
Moving to a Single Health Plan Cut Costs 15%
Cut to two years later. After monitoring the school’s health care costs for 24 months, the school’s broker, Linda Kosin of United Insurance Brokers, approached Ms. Griffin with a key piece of learning. If Newport’s employees were all to see Group Health (now Kaiser Permanente) doctors, the school would realize substantial savings.
Together the pair educated the school’s staff on the advantages of such an approach. And the results were as predicted. Instead of the double-digit price increase with their former carrier, the school realized double-digit savings, nearly 15 percent.
What’s more, the care and coverage has been most welcome. “I’ve had new employees literally cry when I show them our health benefits,” says Griffin. “They tell me they’ve never had such good coverage before. I myself had a broken leg treated at Group Health and would describe the care as flawless.”