Upper Arlington News

Imhoff: Having self-insurance could save district money

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The Upper Arlington school district is exploring a self-insured plan for medical insurance that Superintendent Paul Imhoff said could save more than $265,000 next year.

Imhoff told the Upper Arlington Board of Education at its Nov. 18 meeting that a self-insurance plan is one of the ways the district could money as a part of its efficiency project.

He said the district's conventional insurance plan is expected to increase in cost by 10 percent next year. By self-insuring, the district could save $265,000 in 2014 versus a conventional plan after the increase.

Under a self-insured plan, the district would set premiums and pay into its own fund; rates would be based on claims and a stop-loss premium. There also would be no fees from the federal Affordable Care Act or premium taxes, he said.

Imhoff said more than 50 percent of insured workers in the U.S. are covered under a self-funded benefit plan.

He said district leaders are consulting with advisory groups and wading through more than 1,200 responses to a community survey to find ways to save money through the efficiency project, designed to save the district at least $4.5 million over the next four years.

"We have also been looking into shared services with the city of Upper Arlington and have found some ways to save, including a combined city/school district newsletter," Imhoff said.

He said a pilot issue of the newsletter will be published this winter, with the city providing half the content and the school district providing the other half.

The newsletter will be mailed to residents, he said.

"We will combine printing and distribution efforts, which should lead to a substantial savings to both the city and schools," Imhoff said.

He said the district also will consider current document management, such as using more electronic forms instead of paper, and an energy audit to determine more areas where savings can be found.

Imhoff said he plans to give school board members a full report and analysis of the community survey results next month. Those results will be posted on the district website, uaschools.org.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Central Office, 1950 N. Mallway Drive.

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