What Is An Insurance Pool?

  • The goal of an insurance pool is to provide accessible, quality healthcare coverage at the lowest possible price. Our pools are made up of public employers who have signed a Joint Powers Agreement with SWWC. SWWC financially manages the pool, collects premiums, does an RFP every five years for an insurance provider, and negotiates stop loss and administrative rates.  Because the pool is considered self-insured our members save money by not having to pay MCHA and health insurance premium taxes. Additionally, our pool members are treated as fully-insured meaning they have no financial obligation other than paying their monthly premiums.
    The History of Service Cooperative Insurance Pools
    The first insurance pools for public schools were developed by Minnesota’s network of Service Cooperatives in 1982. Between 1993 and 1994, the Service Cooperatives initiated the minimum premium program. In addition, they became self-insured with the Service Cooperatives assuming much of the risk for each pool member. This arrangement has been in place since 1993 and is continuously being improved. In 1996, the health insurance pool concept was extended to City, County, and Other Government Agencies (CCOGA). The school and CCOGA pools grew voluntarily through a market driven system. The significance of this participation level allows for statewide negotiations while maintaining regional pools.
    Benefits to Joining an Insurance Pool
    • Service Cooperatives negotiate statewide changes on behalf of insurance pool participants for such things as:
      • Administrative Charges
      • Stop Loss Charges
      • Network Arrangements
      • Provider Savings
      • Manufacturer Drug Rebates Bid Specification Development
      • New Product Development Programs
      • Claims Tracking Reports and Disease Management
      • Standardized Operating Agreements
      • Needed Legal Services
      • VEBA Trust and Complaint Health Plans and Savings Accounts 
    • Regional Advisory Committees allow participants a voice via their locally elected officials.
    • SWWC staff know the area and know our clients personally.
    • Annual renewals are done by pool with the guidance and advice of your insurance pool coordinators.
    • Administration of healthcare coverage is made easier by the standardization of plans.
    • On behalf of our clients, SWWC bargains with insurance companies to improve plans.
    • Free employment law seminars are offered to all insurance pool members.
    • SWWC provides workshops with becoming HIPAA and COBRA compliant.
    • Our staff is available for employee informational meetings.
    • Free benefit consultations are available.
    • SWWC offers help with consumer directed alternatives.
    Cost Containment Strategies
    • Reduce healthcare expenses
    • Improve administrative process efficiency
    • Reform medical reimbursement
    • Improve chronic care effectiveness
    • Increase competition
    • Inform and educate employees and consumers
    • Offer healthcare options such as HAS, VEBA and HRA
    • Improve prescription drug value
    • Provide pooling of high cases on a regional basis
    • Negotiate for improved disease management programs
    • Implement wellness programs
    • Offer efficient web services for groups