By NICOLE ANTONUCCI
FONDA -- Following Montgomery County's new policy for retaining a liability insurance broker, a similar process is being followed in the county's search for health insurance.
County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said the one-year contract with the county's current health insurance broker, Benetech Administrative Services, is up at the end of the year and the county is seeking bids for a new broker.
"We are trying to focus to make sure that this is a fair and open process," Ossenfort said.
According to the request for proposals (RFP) issued July 1, the county is seeking proposals for a qualified health insurance broker to provide services associated with the design, maintenance, communication and improvement of its existing medical insurance program and disability benefit services.
Montgomery County provides health benefits to its employees, their dependents and retirees. There are approximately 275 active employees on the Blue Cross Health Insurance Plan and approximately 250 retirees on the Medicare Advantage Plan. The plans provide coverage for medical, prescription drugs, dental and vision. The plans are 85 percent funded by the county and 15 percent funded by employees, according to the RFP.
Health benefits are a negotiated benefit and are included in the county's collective bargaining agreement with each bargaining unit. The county further provides long- and short-term disability coverage.
The health insurance broker is expected to provide a comprehensive review of the county's current coverage plans; prepare an analysis comparing costs, plan designs, administrative expenses and alternative benefits coverage; help the county negotiate with providers; assist the county in managing risks and costs of the employee health benefits coverage; work as the county's advocate when disputes arise over billing issues, and more.
Each vendor's proposal will be evaluated on its compliance with the RFP format requirements; experience, including municipal experience; responsiveness to the items scope of services; price; oral presentations, if requested; credibility of vendor; and ability to meet the county's stated goals.
The awarded contract is expected to be for two years with possible one-year extensions.
Proposals are due in to the county by July 31 at 4 p.m.