Let’s talk about trust: the California Independent Schools Benefit Trust

Some Background:

If you’re part of an independent school in California, you’ve likely heard of the Independent Schools Business Officers Association of California—or Cal-ISBOA as it’s more commonly referred.

The concept of Cal-ISBOA is a fairly straightforward one: provide professional support and solutions to business officers from independent schools throughout California.

If you want to steep this concept down a bit further, this association primarily exists to support the operations of these schools through supportive relationships and best practices. So when Cal-ISBOA made the move to launch its own benefits trust for member schools at the start of this year, a similar thread prevailed.

About CISBT:

The California Independent Schools Benefit Trust (CISBT) is established under a Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA), and it is designed to give small employers access to health coverage on terms similar to those available to large employers. This allows CISBT to combine all the schools (small and large) to be able to leverage a combined size and offer large group plans.

Ultimately, CISBT helps Cal-ISBOA member schools support one of their most valuable resources: their faculty and staff.

This is accomplished through a variety of ways: reducing risk to individual schools, controlling costs by maintaining consistent rate increases and lowering rates, offering products that may not be accessible to individual schools and using technology to reduce administrative labor and burden.

The real strategy is to create a pool of like-demographics based on our own industry that will run better than the insurance carriers’ existing pools that combine industry groups based on size.

For example, a school with less than 100 employees can avoid age-rating with composite rates (one rate for each enrollment tier, regardless of age). Pretty nifty, right?

Because CISBT is structured as a large group program, things like dental and vision are benefits offered within the trust, which has been structured to offer multiple plan options and give each school flexibility in choosing which plans to implement.

Beyond the potential to save a great deal of money – one school managed to reduce their costs by $100,000 – CISBT is able to provide its members an online administration and enrollment platform for employee benefits, which can save a lot of time as well.

Want to learn more?

Obviously there’s plenty of information here to digest and discuss. That’s why we want to invite participating schools to register for our upcoming webinar that will provide more details on CISBT, and all of the functions and features it can provide to its members.


About Michelle Cammayo

Michelle Cammayo has more than 13 years of Employee Benefits experience specializing in all lines of health and welfare benefits. Today, Michelle works closely with clients and partners to provide guidance in areas of the law including ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA and PPACA. She also oversees the Compliance Department at Bolton & Company to ensure we are helping our clients manage and eliminate risk with regards to employee benefit compliance.

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