Aug 31, 2021

How to Score Big on Your Intercollegiate Sports Insurance RFP

How to Score Big on Your Intercollegiate Sports Insurance RFP

While raising money is essential to colleges and universities through tuition, endorsements, donations, and fundraising, as your school’s chief financial officer, you know saving money can be just as critical to the health of the institution’s finances.

An obvious place to start when looking for ways to cut back is with your school’s athletic program. It’s often a confusing blend of opportunities for making money and losing it—especially when it comes to the cost of health insurance and injured athletes.

You may decide it’s time to request an insurance RFP (request for proposal) to find out if there are better cost-saving programs. What should you look for from an insurance carrier to get the best value for the program, school, and students? Premium cost is a given. But, you may be surprised to learn that other factors than price can provide a better value in the long run.

What to Consider in an Intercollegiate Sports Insurance RFP

To start your search, you’ve probably put together a list of questions and deliverables for selected insurance companies to answer and provide information regarding:

Coverage:

  • If they offer the kind of student-athlete accident coverage you need.
  • What the policy term will be and who you want covered.
  • Full excess medical benefits.
  • An accident medical expense (AME) max of $90,000 per accident (the NCAA threshold before their catastrophic coverage kicks in) and included coverages without limit up to the AME limit such as:
    • Professional ambulance service/air ambulance.
    • Sport-related hernias (core muscle injuries.)
    • Physical therapy, chiropractic, and pharmacy benefit.
    • Orthotics, splints and braces, and other durable medical equipment (DME.)
  • If you want certain riders included, such as pre-existing injury coverage, heat and circulatory coverage, and others.

Claims:

  • 100% electronic/paperless claims processing with real-time updates on online claims status, including pending claims.
  • Ability to upload claims documents electronically through a HIPAA-compliant portal.
  • Electronic, real-time EOBs (explanation of benefits.)
  • A dedicated account manager responsible for obtaining all itemized bills and EOBs from providers and parents.

Experience

  • A company that works with schools and programs similar to yours.

Cost

  • Price quotes.
  • Program efficiency and cost containment advice.
  • Negotiates lower prices for typically used medical services.

A waist down back shot of a male lacrosse player in blue shorts wearing a glove and holding his lacrosse stick.

On paper, RFP responses in these categories may look pretty similar. That’s why price often becomes the differentiator when the athletic department budget is a top priority. But, you owe it to the program and the school to dig deeper into the responses to find the company that will provide real value for your school and student-athletes.

Joe Giunta, Director of Collegiate Partnerships at A-G Administrators, explains, “Schools may find that taking a deeper look at an insurance carrier’s services will shed light on whether low price is the best value to choose in the long run. You want a partner committed to your goals.”

Values Beyond Price

You’ll dig a little deeper when you ask questions like these:

  • What does the carrier think is the biggest exposure you face?
    • This can help you see if the company really understands your programs and may also open your eyes to risks you didn’t realize.
  • What kind of culture does the insurance company have and how do they like to work with their customers?
    • This can help you see if personalities or work styles are compatible.
  • How do they think a well-run program works?
    • This can help you see if you’re on the same page in terms of expectations.
  • How do they utilize primary insurance to minimize secondary insurance costs?
    • This will help you see if premiums and fees are affected going forward. This will also be especially important during and after COVID-19 because many parents became unemployed and lost their health insurance. The insurer’s strategies will be critical to controlling costs.
  • How do they negotiate with providers?
    • This will help you see how they plan to get the best outcome for the school.
  • What are the types of reporting and history they provide?
    • This will help you understand budgeting processes against claims volumes.

The answers to these holistic questions can reveal a big difference between programs that might not have been evident in a surface-level RFP.

Get a Different RFP Experience With A-G Administrators

At A-G Administrators, those are the types of insights we routinely provide to help you make decisions by understanding the full picture of what you get for the price.

“At A-G, it’s not a static, set-it-and-forget-it quote,” says Giunta. “We’re just starting to get to work.”

  • Our student-athlete coverage provides all of the accident benefits you expect, and more options than you may have realized were available.
  • Your account manager works with you from the start, relieving your athletic department’s staff from the burden of claims management.
    • Our EGBAR (Efficiency Generating Business Automation Resource) system seamlessly connects insurance information, EOBs, claims, and payments.
    • It keeps track of claims histories and sport, body part, date of injury and service, and lets you see three-to-five-year averages to budget appropriately, especially for those accounts that are partially or entirely self-funded.
  • We maximize discounts and negotiate with key providers to get the best possible outcomes. Providing you with key provider reports opens up a whole new opportunity for you. When you see that a provider is getting 95% of injuries to treat, you may want to ask the provider for a sponsorship deal, and we will negotiate a better deal. And, unlike other carriers, A-G does not charge a fee for these services, which we are proud to say is unique in the industry.
    • These provider relationships will be vital during pandemic recovery if loss of primary insurance causes more claims to move to secondary coverage.

As for premium costs, a Mid-Major Division 1 school realized a 50% decrease in claims payments and $67,500 in premium savings after switching to A-G. CFOs like you can appreciate savings like that. In fact, consider those savings could also free up the overhead of an employee who was handling the work A-G can now do instead. That employee can get back to what he or she was originally hired to do. It’s a big financial win-win.

Talk to us About Your RFP

We invite you to schedule a no-obligation consultation to review your RFP. We love “talking sports accident insurance.” We’ve been doing it for almost 40 years with 675 colleges and universities, and 3,200 K-12 school districts across the U.S. Our staff is full of sports fans and former athletes, many with a school sports background, including former athletic trainers and athletic department administrators. You can trust that we understand the nuances of your school, your budget, and your responsibilities. We look forward to the opportunity to help you make a difference to your school’s budget and your program’s value and cost. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to “talk sports accident insurance” with us.

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