Title: Employee Benefits Broker Services
Department: Human Resources
Issue Date: October 14, 2011
Due Date: 5:00 PM, October 24, 2011
Issuing Agency: Pulaski County Special School District
Human Resources Department – Paul Brewer
925 East Dixon Road, Little Rock, AR 72206
Sealed Proposals subject to the conditions made a part hereof will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., October 24, 2011 for furnishing services described herein.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Indicate firm name and opening date on the front of each sealed proposal envelope or package. Electronically submitted (email/fax) proposals will not be accepted.
Direct all inquiries concerning this RFP to:
Pulaski County Special School District
925 East Dixon Road
Little Rock, AR 72206
Phone: 501.234.2032 / fax: 501.490.9897
NOTE: Questions concerning the RFP requirements must be submitted in writing. They may be mailed, faxed or e-mailed (no phone calls) to Paul Brewer, Pulaski County Special School District, 925 East Dixon Road, Little Rock, AR 72206, fax to 501.490.9897, e-mail address email@example.com
Questions must be submitted no later than 5:00 P.M. on October 24, 2011. All questions submitted in writing will be answered in the form of an addendum to this Request for Proposals. No direct contact with the Human Resources Department will be allowed during the proposal process. Any vendors contacting the using department(s) directly may subject their proposal to rejection.
The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit offers from qualified brokers to assist the Pulaski County Special School District with strategically planning, designing and negotiating the best coverage and cost for selective employee benefit programs. The School System has approximately 2,500 full-time employees. The Pulaski County Special School District is constantly competing to recruit and retain the best employees possible. Our leadership is looking to ensure we have financially competitive and affordable benefit programs to offer our employees.
2.) Contract Period:
Any contract resulting from this proposal shall be effective beginning immediately on selection with the option of the School System to continue services under the same terms and conditions set forth herein in subsequent years. The district’s plan year runs from January 1 to December 31.
3.) Scope of Work:
The Pulaski County Special School District prefers an Arkansas licensed Broker that is independent and is not affiliated with any insurance company, third party administrative agency or provider network. The brokerage firm must have experience (no less than 5 years) in providing brokerage services for employers with at least 1000 employees. Experience providing brokerage services to school systems is preferred. The Pulaski County Special School District requires the following services:
- Audit resulting contracts for accuracy of coverage, terms and conditions.
- Assist with annual benefits renewals, including negotiation of changes in contracts.
- When employee benefits are marketed, prepare bid specifications, identify appropriate markets, analyze proposals submitted, make recommendations and assist in negotiation of (preferably multi-year) contracts.
- Annual reviews of selected employee benefit package for quality of benefits provided, cost effectiveness, competitiveness and plan administration.
- Monitor ongoing contracts, including provider plan administration, provider compliance with contract and incurred claims.
- Provide information on employee benefit issues, trends and proposed or new legislation.
- Timely and accurate reporting of benefit usage and participation. To include, but not limited to, enrollment gains, losses, product loss ratio, etc.
- Be available to meet with the Benefits staff and School Administrators on a monthly basis.
- Assist in the design of employee benefits communications. Participate in annual Benefit Fairs and enrollment process.
- Provide complete and timely reporting involving any and all fees paid to broker or any other vendor resulting from benefit offerings.
- Provide a key local contact person to be available to answer questions and resolve issues that arise during the plan year regarding employee benefits, contract administration and service provisions.
- Evaluate various insurance products submitted by carriers, agents and brokers.
- Perform other related consultation services as needed or requested.
- Establish and maintain a comprehensive benefits webpage (to include online enrollment), hosted either at the brokers site or at the District’s site.
4.) Vendor Proposal Requirements:
The proposal response must clearly demonstrate the required qualifications, expertise, competence and capability of the vendor. Please provide a concise description of your firm’s ability to provide the services required in the Scope of this document. Costs incurred by firms responding to this RFP are solely their responsibility. Additionally, please include the answers to the following questions (address by number):
- Describe your organizational structure (i.e. publicly held corporation, partnership, etc.).
- Confirm that you are a licensed and bonded broker in Arkansas and provide documentation. Confirm that you serve as a broker, independently and are not affiliated with any insurance company, third party administrative agency or provider network.
- Briefly describe your company’s organization, philosophy and management. Also, please provide a brief company history. Describe your contractual relationships, if any, with organizations necessary to your proposal’s implementation (i.e. actuarial services, data information services).
- How long has your organization been providing brokerage services?
- How many clients does your organization presently have? Typically, how many clients does each broker manage? Typically, how many client employees does each broker manage?
- What is your target client size?
- What is your median client size? What is the name of your largest client and your smallest client?
- How many public sector clients do you personally manage?
- Provide an aggregate percentage of your book of business by carrier and by benefit offering.
- What is your average response time to questions posed from your clients? How do you handle follow up to outstanding items? What is your preferred method of communicating with your clients (i.e. voicemail, e-mail, fax)?
- Please provide a list of four verifiable client references of similar scope and industry, all of whom are able to comment on your organization’s relevant experience. This list should include at least three active client references that are similar in nature and size to the Pulaski County Special School District and one reference from a former client. Please include company name, contact name, telephone number and size of company’s workforce. It is the vendor’s responsibility to provide valid reference information and the Pulaski County Special School District the right to use reference checks in its evaluation of proposals.
- Furnish a list of your three largest public sector accounts including services you provided and for which benefit plans, the time period you have serviced the account, the number of covered employees and contact name and phone number.
- Please describe the organizational structure of the brokers who would provide services to the school system (i.e. individual broker, individual broker with supporting back up, team of brokers). List the annual turnover rate for said brokers for the last five years. Include a brief professional history for each individual and how they are qualified to provide services to the school system.
- Briefly describe the level of service and support provided by your brokers on a day-to-day basis.
- What steps does your organization take to ensure that each broker is educated on current market trends and legislative developments? How is this information communicated to your clients?
- Describe how you propose to build an understanding of the direction and priorities of the Pulaski County Special School District and how you would utilize this information in order to anticipate our needs in relation to benefits.
- Detail how your organization participates in developing a strategic benefit plan with your clients.
- Describe your organization’s involvement in the annual renewal process. Include information regarding process timeframes, negotiation of rates and vendor selection.
- Describe the process of how your organization would assist the Pulaski County Special School District in selecting a new benefits vendor. Include how your company’s experience and expertise would benefit the school system.
- Please provide a list of the vendors you have relationships with in regard to disability, life, supplemental health, dental, vision, legal and any other types of insurance plans.
- What is your process for providing plan recommendations to your clients?
- Describe how your organization strives to streamline benefit administration for your clients. Include any services you provide for automation of the benefit process (i.e. electronic capabilities, outsourcing options). Attach any associated costs for these services on a separate fee schedule.
- Detail how you develop a benefit communication strategy with your clients. Include what tools or resources you have available to assist your clients in effectively communicating not only the specific plan details but also the value of the benefits offered?
- What training resources does your organization provide to assist your clients in educating and training their benefit staff?
- What makes your organization unique from other organizations that may submit proposals for the Pulaski County Special School District consideration?
- Provide any additional information regarding your organization or services that you feel would be beneficial in helping the Pulaski County Special School District select a benefits broker.
- Please detail your administrative capabilities on benefits plan compliance issues (discrimination testing, Form 5500, etc.).
- Please provide a list of the products your company has brokered for your clients.
5.) Criteria for Evaluation:
All proposals will be evaluated according to, but not necessarily limited to, the following:
- The proposal’s Plan of Services as required in item 3. Scope of Work and 4. Vendor Proposal Requirements.
- Extent and success of previous work provided to organizations similar in nature and size to those required herein. References provided verifying the required experience and level of service needed by the school system.
- The proposal itself as an example of the potential vendor’s work.
- Qualifications/experience of key personnel to be assigned to the project.
- All required forms completed and returned as part of the proposal package.
Please clearly outline any and all costs associated with the required services on a separate fee addendum. Delineate all services that are provided without charge to the Pulaski County Special School District or its employees.
7.) Oral Presentations:
During the evaluation process, the Pulaski County Special School District may, at its discretion, request any one or all brokerage firms to make oral presentations for the purpose of clarification or to amplify the materials presented in any part of the proposal. However, brokers are cautioned that the District is not required to request clarification; therefore, all proposals should be complete and reflect the most favorable terms available from the broker. Not all brokers may be asked to make such oral presentations.
8.) Final Selection:
It is a goal of the District that the Pulaski County Special School District Insurance Advisory Committee will make a recommendation to the Pulaski County Special School District Board of Education as soon as possible.
Note: The right is reserved to accept the response that the Pulaski County Special School District determines to be in the best interest of the school system and its employees. The Pulaski County Special School District reserves the right to reject any and or all proposals.