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 Trust provides rate stability for participating schools, protecting against dramatic year over year swings. Even though schools’ rates vary based on their experience over time, annual fluctuations to the discount or load are restricted to avoid the swings that may be experienced in the fully-insured group market.
Since 2010, the year the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Trust rates are basically the same thanks to back to back 10% rate reductions. In comparison, based on the Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer Sponsored Health Benefits and estimates by the PwC Health Research Institute, premiums have increased more than 50% nationwide over the same time frame.
The ISAS Trust is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(9) Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association (VEBA) governed by ERISA law. The Trust is also registered as an exempt 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 20 member employers as of August 1, 2019, and covers more than 2,800 employees and 4,675 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 access to one of the largest national networks of healthcare providers. 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. There are two medical, two dental and a vision plan currently open to any school in Texas and Oklahoma that is accredited by ISAS. The Trust is in the process of obtaining authority to make its plans available to all other ISAS Member Schools.
While the flexible spending accounts (“FSA”) plan is offered to those schools which participate in the medical and dental plan, the long-term disability and life insurance plans are open to all ISAS schools, regardless of location.
“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