For almost thirty years, OEA Choice Trust (Trust) has provided cost effective health insurance plans and an outstanding level of service to its members.
Currently, the Trust is progressing in a new direction but maintaining the same commitment to its members made thirty years ago; “We’re Here to Serve You.” Although OEA Choice Trust continues to provide Dental programs, Long-Term Disability, Section 125 Flexible Spending Accounts and benefit consultation, we felt this was an opportune time to develop other ways of giving back to Oregon public school employees. This was accomplished by establishing the OEA Choice Trust Wellness Grant Program and by partnering in the launching of the Tooth Taxi.
The OEA Choice Trust Wellness Grant Program awards grants to qualified schools for self-designed wellness programs created and personalized by school employees for school employees. Participants determine the program that will work best in their community setting. Trust sponsored wellness grants are designed to support and motivate our members to bring about positive, sustainable changes in their health and wellbeing.
In 2008, through an innovative partnership among OEA Choice Trust, The Dental Foundation of Oregon (DFO) and The ODS Companies, The Tooth Taxi became a reality. The Tooth Taxi is a state-of-the-art dental office on wheels delivering free dental care and oral health education to low-income children in Oregon.
Our Website Has a New Look
We’re incredibly excited about our progress and redesigned website. It’s a site that’s easier to read and use plus, it better showcases what we’re all about. Please browse our site and enjoy the experience of our new direction.
OEA Choice Trust Established
Oregon Education Association’s (OEA) objective was to have more accountability in the administration of health insurance programs being offered to its members. And so in July, 1980, OEA Choice Welfare Benefit Trust was founded. The Trust obtained health insurance directly from the insurance carriers for its members.
The sole objective of what is now called OEA Choice Trust was to provide cost effective, comprehensive benefits programs for members with an emphasis on service. The Trust’s Plan is an “Employee Welfare Benefit Plan” meaning all funds coming into OEA Choice Trust are held in trust for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their dependents.
OEA Choice Trust Board of Trustees
Along with retaining the services of an Executive Director, the OEA Board of Directors elected their first Trust board members. The OEA Choice Trust Board is made up of five Trustees; school employees across the state, elected by the OEA Board of Directors. Each Trustee is required to serve a three-year term. The Board meets regularly and oversees all the benefit plans administered by the Trust.
From 1980 until 1985, all health plan claims were processed and paid by individual insurance carriers. In 1985, a claims processing system was installed at the Trust offices in Tigard, Oregon and over 80,000 claims were paid that same year. The claims paying process became more efficient and in 1998-99, over 202,000 claims were paid with a turnaround time of six to ten days with an error ratio under .017%! This accomplishment alone saved thousands of dollars in administrative costs each year. Later, the Trust moved to a larger claims paying system which consolidated with the existing premium billing and eligibility systems.
In 2001, the Trust entered into a strategic partnership with ODS Health Plans. This change also allowed the Trust access to an even more enhanced claims processing system and enabled the Trust to meet future legislative requirements in it plans.
Senate Bill 426, OEBB (Oregon Educators Benefit Board)
In response to skyrocketing healthcare costs for Oregon’s public schools, the 2007 Oregon Legislative Session passed Senate Bill 426, which established a statewide health insurance plan for public education employees. Effective October 1, 2008, school districts were limited from offering health insurance benefit plans other than those plans provided by OEBB. School districts were required to join OEBB at the end of their contract year, or earlier if they chose, however, many districts opted to enroll in OEBB health insurance plans early and as a result received comprehensive benefits with competitive premiums.
We’re confident you’ll share our enthusiasm over OEA Choice Trust’s new direction and the programs we are now undertaking. We invite you to join us and be a part of a new chapter in our history.