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An Eye on Benefit Vendor Contracting and Management

With 4 major healthcare companies in the state, and a multitude of voluntary benefits vendors, how does a school district or public entity know which one is the best fit for your budget and employee’s needs?

Schools districts traditionally follow a bid cycle that requires them to send out a request for proposal (RFP) every five years. This process was developed initially to create a fair opportunity for vendors, and more important, allowed public entities to fully vet the company that best met the criteria set forth.  

This method is still used, but is time-consuming, costly, and typically does not allow the public entity to efficiently renegotiate with the vendors during that five-year contract term. This can tie the district’s hands during annual or mid-year negotiations to obtain the best pricing and services without going back out to bid.

Districts also have an opportunity to join a public entity pool like Valley Schools that cooperatively purchases and contracts with benefit vendors on the member’s behalf. This allows districts to utilize the Valley Schools contracted Preferred Providers without going out to bid at a deeply discounted rate, and in many cases, an enriched benefit due to greater negotiating power. Valley Schools rigorously evaluates all vendor options before awarding a contract to a Preferred Provider and re-negotiates annually, or more often if warranted, to make certain they are offering our members the absolute best-in-class benefits, pricing, and service.

As a full-service benefits consultant members always have full autonomy on vendor selection. Districts retain the ultimate choice to utilize our Preferred Providers or not. Valley Schools manages all benefit vendor relationships, renewal negotiations, assists with open enrollments, and more to make certain you are getting the biggest bang for your buck. We advise – you decide!

Want to hear from one of our member’s on how the Valley Schools process works for them? Click here.

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