Why has the school district hired an independent consultant, when they have a personnel director, to check out health-care options for its employees? How much is that independent consultant being paid?
Bonnie Dunham, communications coordinator, provided the following answer: The Lawrence school district's medical and dental coverage, made available to its nearly 1,500 employees, are self-insured. The district last sought proposals in 1993. In 1996-97, the fringe benefit committee comprised of district classified, certified and administrative staff felt that due to significant changes in plans available and advances in managed care offerings during the years, they have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure the benefits available to employees are up-to-date. The consulting firm provides expertise in the field of benefits from the perspective of a third party. The consultant will be paid for time and expenses not to exceed $15,000 from the health care reserve fund. Four years ago, an investment in this type of service resulted in a savings of almost 40 times the investment. While the district can't guarantee this type of savings, officials do believe this type of service is in the best interest of employees and their health-care needs.