The Lac du Flambeau School Board of Education, at last Tuesday’s regular meeting, picked an insurance provider as a part of a local co-op, and approved a food service contract and the resignation of a teacher.
According to LdF superintendent Larry Ouimette, LdF school joined with the other Lakeland area schools in an attempt to save money buying insurance as a group, rather than each district negotiating on their own. While the price may have been agreable, the service provided by the company selected was mixed this year.
“We were fairly successful even though we only had a few vendors interested in trying to quote the entire group,” Ouimette said. “Which is why this year we formed into an insurance cooperative with the idea that we will be able to get more bids for insurance.”
The cooperative hired M3 to seek bids, and five were received from Security Health Plan, Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) Group, WEA Trust, the Northern School Districts Trust and WPS.
“We reviewed those bids from those five companies and decided on two finalists – WEA and WCA,” he said. “The recommendation from the insurance cooperative is we will go with WCA, at least that is what we are recommending to our school boards.”
He said the premium rates were lower across the board for WCA compared to WEA. There was also a more equitable way of treating out-of-network charges toward deductibles and better coverage for preventive treatment.
“The WCA also reduced our rates an additional one percent to help our school district to continue with the log-term care we provide for our retirees and teachers right now,” Ouimette said. “Our long-term rates with WEA would have gone up. Most insurance carriers don’t even provide long-term care anymore.”
Ouimette said the five districts in the cooperative have not been happy with the enrollment and paperwork problems that occurred this year with WEA.
“A lot of mistakes were being made and it was keeping our bookkeepers and business manager busy trying to catch all their mistakes,” he said. “It was not a good year for WEA, in our opinion, for their service to our school district.”
The board voted to go along with the recommendation from the insurance cooperative and choose WCA for health insurance and Delta Dental for dental coverage. The motion passed by a unanimous vote.
In other action, the board:
• Approved the resignation of middle school teacher Hannah Big John, effective at the end of this school year.
• Approved contracting with Taher Foods to provide food service for the Lac du Flambeau School District during the 2014-15 school year.
Jamie Taylor may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.