TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, April 7, 2004
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Plan in the works to reduce budget
School officials have a plan to reduce increasing insurance costs in the budget.

By Marco Lopez
Staff Reporter


Administrators are finalizing negotiations with more than 20 other schools to create a corporation that would reduce increasing insurance costs for TCU next year, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Carol Campbell said Tuesday.

“Insurance costs have had a double-digit increase in this year’s budget,” Campbell told Staff Assembly members. “Over 20 individual colleges would come together to come up with a program to save money.”

Campbell said negotiations to create the Collegiate Association Resource of the Southwest began almost a year ago with schools such as Abilene Christian University, University of Dallas and University of St. Thomas, among others.

John Weis, vice chancellor for human resources, said insurance costs could increase approximately 6 percent next year if TCU joins the corporation, but if administration officials do not approve the negotiation, employees could see an increase of 14 to 20 percent instead in premiums, he said.

Weis said the corporation would be comprised of solid health care administrators and providers that would help stabilize insurance costs for a long term. Schools in the negotiation would get wholesale insurance rates because approximately 27 institutions are planning to join the corporation, he said.

“TCU would have the largest national network of health providers available,” Weis said. TCU would get guaranteed insurance rates for three years and no more than a 10 percent increase in rates for two more years afterward, he said.

Campbell said after the negotiation is closed, the corporation would try to recruit more institutions to get even better rates.

Staff Assembly Chairman David Grebel said TCU would be able to spend money used to pay insurance benefits in other areas of the budget.

“This is a great opportunity because it would reduce the increasing insurance costs,” Grebel said. “It would also free money for salaries or other compensation areas.”

Grebel said Campbell and Weis have gone out of their way to help reduce the insurance costs.

Campbell said school officials have about two weeks left to decide if TCU is going to participate in the corporation. She said TCU would begin participating in January 2005.

Weis said all the member schools would own a piece of the corporation. TCU would be the largest institution in the negotiation and Campbell would be a member of the board of directors and represent the university, he said.
 
 
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