Virginia Private Colleges Benefits Consortium, Inc.
The Virginia Private Colleges Benefits Consortium is a 501(c) (9) employee welfare benefit plan within the meaning of ERISA and constitutes a benefits consortium under Section 23-4.2:1 of the Code of Virginia. Sixteen private colleges, each a member in good standing of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, Inc., are members of the Consortium.
These colleges are:
- Appalachian College of Pharmacy
- Averett University
- Bluefield College
- Bridgewater College
- Emory & Henry College
- Ferrum College
- Hampden-Sydney College
- Hollins University
- Lynchburg College
- Mary Baldwin University
- Randolph-Macon College
- Roanoke College
- Sweet Briar College
- Southern Virginia University
- Virginia Union University
- Virginia Wesleyan College
The Consortium covers about 3,600 employees (about 6,900 lives in total, including spouses and dependents) with medical, dental, vision or prescription drug benefit plans. The number of covered employees by college ranges between 90 and 500. The Consortium is governed by a 17-member Board of Directors. The President of each member college serves, or selects a senior administrator to serve, on the Board. In addition, the President of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia is a Board member. All governing authority rests with the Board.
The Board has hired a benefits consultant (KSPH, LLC), claims administrators (Anthem Health Plans of Virginia, Inc. and Delta Dental of Virginia) and other vendors to provide administrative, consultative and legal services.
The Consortium has developed 11 medical and five dental plan designs for use by its member colleges. Each college may elect to offer up to three medical and two dental plan designs to its eligible employees. Plan designs offered for medical benefits include traditional PPO, high-deductible PPO and open-access HMO types. Member colleges may offer up to five tiers of coverage: Ee only, Ee plus child, Ee plus children, Ee plus spouse, and Ee plus family.
The Consortium operates on a self-insured basis. Contribution levels are set recognizing claims experience, plan design, demographics and industry experience at each individual member college. Contribution rates are set by the Board of Directors upon approval by an actuarial services firm on a prospective experience rated basis. The contribution rates for each college represent a blend of individual college claims experience and overall Consortium claims experience in accordance with a risk management strategy which includes both claims pooling and excess risk insurance. The Consortium has purchased individual stop-loss insurance to limit its jumbo claim tail risk.
Colleges are free to require covered employees to contribute to the cost of coverage. The Consortium does not prescribe employee contribution levels. Any such employee contributions are collected by the college via payroll deduction. Terminated employees may continue their coverage under COBRA. COBRA contributions are collected for the Consortium by a third party administrator.
The Consortium offers a voluntary wellness program promoting “Living Healthy.” Its goal is to empower all benefit-eligible employees and medical-enrolled spouses with education in support of protecting their most precious personal asset, their physical, emotional and mental health.
The Consortium ended each of its first six years of operation with net assets in excess of benefit obligations. The Consortium’s independent auditor is Brown, Edwards & Company, L.L.P.