ISAS Group Benefits Trust
For more information, please visit the ISAS Group Benefits Trust Website.
The Independent Schools Association of the Southwest Group Benefits Trust (the “ISAS Trust”) was established in 1989 by three Member Schools and ISAS with the goal of providing a self-insured medical and dental plan for ISAS Member School employees and their dependents. The ISAS Trust has since expanded to offer vision, long-term disability, and life insurance plans.
The ISAS Group Benefits Trust is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(9) Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association (VEBA) governed by ERISA law. The Trust is also registered as a Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) in the state of Oklahoma. The ISAS Trust is audited annually by an independent accounting firm and receives an annual opinion from a registered actuary regarding its financial condition.
The ISAS Group Benefits Trust has 23 member employers as of August 1, 2009, and covers more than 2,600 employees and 4,250 individuals. Each member school is represented by a Trustee, and the Board of Trustees governs the activities of the ISAS Trust. A third-party administrator (TPA) provides claims administration and assistance with enrollment and billing. Excess reinsurance (stop-loss coverage) provides protection to the Trust if claims of any individual exceed a specified limit. For the medical and dental plan, the Trust requires that member schools make a minimum three-year commitment and meet specific minimum participation requirements.
A school may participate in any and all plans for which it is eligible. The medical/dental and vision plans are currently open to any school in Texas and Oklahoma that is accredited by ISAS. The flexible spending accounts plan is offered to those schools which participate in the medical and dental plan, but not required. The long-term disability and life insurance plans are open to all ISAS schools. Medical and dental coverage are packaged together and are not available individually.
The ISAS Group Benefits Trust manages its health plan cost increases well below trend. U.S. health care costs rose an average of 8% each year from 2004 through 2008 and are projected to increase 9.6% this year. The Trust has been successful in holding plan increases to around 5.7% for the same five-year period. In 2009, the Trust held its premium increase to only 5.5% - well below the national trend.
Contact the ISAS Trust for an analysis of how your current benefit offerings and costs compare to what the Trust can provide. Many Member Schools have been able to enhance their benefit offering while reducing costs.
“As an independent school leader, I believe faculty and staff are our greatest assets. Providing them and their families the best, most competitively priced health insurance program is a strategic imperative. It also clearly signals how much we as a community of ISAS schools value those who care for our children. I am most grateful for the role the ISAS Group Benefits Trust plays in making our schools terrific places to work.”
Allen Meyer Family Head of School,
Parish Episcopal School