School district cuts $800K in health care costs


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A school district will save more than $800,000 on health care costs this year, thanks to a recent benefits audit.

Ada-based Next Generation Enrollment, which offers benefits administration services, said last month that through a dependent eligibility audit at Grand Rapids Public Schools, or GRPS, it found that 15.54 percent of the district’s enrolled dependents were actually ineligible.

Those ineligible dependents have been removed from the district’s health care plan as a result.

Out of 1,625 employees who received the original dependent audit mailing, 3,898 total dependents were audited during the course of the dependent eligibility audit.

Lisa Steed, GRPS benefits supervisor, called the audit a “huge success” and said the savings to the district is “seven times what was projected.”

Dependent eligibility audits are intended to “root out those who are not truly eligible, which helps guard against out-of-control health care costs.”

Next Generation Enrollment said dependent eligibility audits are an alternative other changes like reducing benefits or increasing co-pays, which are typically met with resistance among employees.

“The audit allows GRPS and school districts like them to mitigate the steep costs of benefits, while continuing to offer exceptional coverage to those who qualify,” said Bradley Taylor, CEO, Next Generation Enrollment.

The company said ineligible dependents cost school districts and businesses "millions of dollars" in health plan expenses each year.

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