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WAICU Benefits Consortium Celebrates 20 Years

A WAICU-member cost-saving program—the WAICU Benefits Consortium (WBC)—turns 20 years old this year.

WBC is a jointly administered self-funded health plan established by WAICU members in 2003. WBC helps WAICU institutions offer enhanced benefits at lower costs than they could achieve on their own. The plan responds to members’ needs with patient advocacy and case-management initiatives and gives participating colleges and universities direct control of this burgeoning cost driver and essential humanitarian benefit.

 All the original nine WAICU member institutions have remained with the WBC since inception, due to the program’s many benefits. The WBC gives individual institutions the purchasing power to help control ad-ministrative and reinsurance costs.

 Each WBC member institution is responsible for its own claims and administrative expenses, but claims are rated in aggregate. In addition, the WBC offers rate stability over many years to flatten financial peaks and valleys.

 The WBC is in an excellent financial position, is fully reserved, and operates in a strong surplus position. Continuous improvement of benefits and services is a hallmark of the WBC.

Participating employers do not share risk but share administrative expenses of operating a health plan and go to market together for better pricing and services on health benefits for their employees. The consortium works jointly on compliance and billing, and contracts with third-party servicers for condition care, claims administration, stop loss insurance, prescription drugs, dental, and actuarial services.

Northland College Chief Financial Officer Sherri Venero, who also serves on the WBC Board of Directors, explained, “Northland College values its participation in the WAICU Benefits Consortium in order to bring health, dental, and vision benefits to our employees in a more cost-effective manner benefitting from the greater purchasing power of the consortium.”

Along with WBC, WAICU offers two additional major collaborations, the WAICU Educational Technology Consortium (ETC), organized for unparalleled savings on a common administrative/academic Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and the WAICU Retirement Readiness Plan (WRRP), that reduces fees, increases levels of service, and helps institutions fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities.