You can count on two fingers or less the percentage increase in premium the 61 school districts and educational cooperatives who are members of the health fund will receive next year.
South Dakota School District Benefits Fund members recently received their health fund premium renewals, which range from zero to two percent, for Fiscal Year 2019 with an expected collection of premium totaling $45 million. This year’s low premium renewals follow up last year’s renewals of just one, two and three percent.
“Factoring in rising healthcare costs can be a major headache for school districts and to have the opportunity to present them such low figures is a testament to our program’s strength and benefits,” ASBSD CFO and Protective Trust Director Matt Flett said.
“We’re extremely excited to be able to offer health fund members premium increases this low.”
Flett noted the small premium increases were also attributable to the extensive work the Health Fund Advisory Committee, Protective Trust board and staff has put forth for the fund and, just as importantly, the dedication of SDSDBF members to the fund.
“From the advisory committee to the board to the members, this is a great group,” Flett said.
“In the past few years the fund has undergone transformative changes, not all of them easy, but no one has waivered in facing the tasks at hand and everyone is seeing the benefits of that dedication.”
Through SDSDBF’s partnership with Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield of South Dakota, health fund members receive in-network access to every hospital and 99 percent of providers in the state for every staff member, which results in very strong network discounts for members and has led to millions of dollars of savings.
Flett announced eight new districts have already joined or will be joining SDSDBF to bring the total membership to 61 on July 1. Those districts include:
- Avon School District
- Bennett County School District
- Colome Consolidated School District
- Douglas School District
- Highmore-Harrold School District
- Meade School District
- Miller School District
- Spearfish School District
“It’s great to have these districts on board or coming board,” Flett said. “Increased membership adds to the health fund’s strong and steady foundation. More members equal less risk for districts, as well as the fund.”
“SDSDBF is growing based on the advantages and benefits of the fund and not on aggressive marketing and we’re thankful to be able to offer our members a great service.”