Lincoln IU 12: Saving Millions on Customized Health Plans

It’s one thing to join a pool for discounts on health insurance; it’s another to leverage that group buying power into a comprehensive full-service administrator that customizes health benefit plans to meet the needs of individual school districts.  Lincoln Intermediate Unit’s Lincoln Benefit Trust has been providing that full array of services since 1979. Membership is open to any PA school district.

The Trust’s 22 member school districts have saved millions in administrative fees and discounts in addition to significant returns on prescription drug rebates and interest income. The Trust negotiates with carriers for the lowest possible cost.  This equates to lower cost and quality care for its employees.

“School districts are not in the insurance business,” says McVicker.  “They’re in the business of educating children.  We take insurance worries away from the school.”

Trust members are self-insured, which means they pay true health claims instead of high insurance premiums.  The Trust is an expert at predicting potential risk, assuring the least financial impact to a district.  Monies left over offset costs the next year.  The Trust manages the complex system while providing school districts “substantial savings,” says Lincoln Benefit Trust Manager, Tricia McVicker.
“Our negotiation with the insurance carriers allows school districts flexibility in negotiating its benefit plan to fit its employees” says McVicker.

Every member seats representatives from administration and teachers on a board that oversees Trust action. Each representative has a vote in the management of the Trust. In an increasingly complex healthcare environment, the school districts are ready for whatever comes next.

“They rely on the Trust to let them know what’s coming around the corner, to do the analysis, and help them make the best decisions,” says McVicker.

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