Box Elder County
Request For Proposal -Employee Benefit Consultant
Due Date: Monday, July 28, 2014. Time: 2:00 P.M. MST
 

Purpose of Request For Proposal (RFP)

The purpose of this request for proposal is to enter into a contract with a qualified professional employee benefit consultant, to assist Box Elder County in the management of its employee health insurance program. The qualified consultant will review and evaluate current plan designs and identify competitive options available to the County. Further, the selected consultant will provide strategic recommendations on an on-going basis for appropriate county-wide group health benefit plans.

 

It is anticipated that this RFP may result in a contract award to a single contractor.

 

This RFP is designed to provide interested offerors with sufficient basic information to submit proposals meeting minimum requirements, but is not intended to limit a proposal's content or exclude any relevant or essential data.  Offerors are at liberty and are encouraged to expand upon the specifications to evidence service capability under any agreement.

 

Box Elder County will not be liable for any costs offerors may incur in the preparation or presentation of this proposal.

 

Background

Box Elder County currently offers fully-insured group health and welfare benefit programs to employees of the County on an employee contribution basis.

 

Box Elder County is a larger County in the State of Utah, and currently employs approximately 160 employees who are eligible for benefits.

 

Issuing Office and RFP Reference Number

Box Elder County’s Human Resources office is the issuing office for this document and all subsequent addenda relating to it.

 

Submitting Your Proposal

Proposals must be sealed and labeled with the Box Elder Broker RFP and received by the Human Resources Department Box Elder County by the posted due date and time: July 28, 2014. By 2:00 p.m. MST.  Proposals received after the deadline will be late and ineligible for consideration.

 

The preferred method of submitting your proposal is hard copies, one original and five identical copies of your proposal must be received at Box Elder County’s Human Resources Office, c/o Box Elder County at 01 South Main Street, Brigham City, Utah 84302.

 

Length of Contract

The Contract resulting from this RFP will be for a period of four years.

 

The contract may be extended beyond the original contract period year-to-year at Box Elder County’s discretion and by mutual agreement for four additional years.

 

The contract may be cancelled at any time within 30 days written notice from either Box Elder County or the consultant.

 

Price Guarantee Period

All pricing must be guaranteed for 1 year. Following the guarantee period, any request for price adjustment must be for an equal guarantee period, and must be made at least 30 days prior to the effective date.  Requests for price adjustment must include sufficient documentation supporting the request.  Any adjustment or amendment to the contract will not be effective unless approved by Box Elder County. Box Elder County will be given the immediate benefit of any decrease in the market, or allowable discount.

Reserved Rights

This RFP does not constitute an offer to buy on the part of Box Elder County.  Acceptance of any obligations on the part of Box Elder County may only be done by a formal written agreement.  Any information contained herein does not commit Box Elder County to a contract or to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of a response. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as guaranteeing any term, condition or other item, including any specified purchase volume. 

 

All responses to this RFP will become the property of Box Elder County.  Consulting firm’s response to this RFP may be included in whole, in part or by reference in the final contracts which may result from this RFP. 

 

Box Elder County reserves the right not to award a contract to any proposing party even if the criteria described in the RFP are met; and to close the process prior to stated deadline.  No obligations on the part of Box Elder County will be incurred until the consultant has signed a contract satisfactory to and accepted by Box Elder County.

 

Box Elder County expressly reserves the right to withdraw this RFP, reject, in whole or in part, any and all proposals received, to waive any and all formalities in the proposing process, to make whole award, multiple awards, a partial award, or no award at Box Elder County’s sole discretion, to negotiate separately with any firm it desires, or to pursue whatever alternative it chooses to fulfill this requirement in its sole judgment.  There is no guarantee, either expressed or implied, that Box Elder County will award a contract to a consultant.  Box Elder County shall not incur any liability whatsoever by reason of such withdrawal, rejection, or acceptance.

 

Standard Contract Terms and Conditions

Any contract resulting from this RFP will include, but not be limited to, Box Elder County standard terms and conditions.

 

Questions

Questions must be submitted to the Box Elder County’s Human Resources Department. Any bidder who attempts to contact any employee or representative of Box Elder County, other than those designated by the Box Elder County’s Administration office, during the RFP process will be disqualified.

 

Discussions With Offerors (Oral Presentation)

An oral presentation by an offeror to clarify a proposal may be required at the sole discretion of Box Elder County.  However, Box Elder County may award a contract based on the initial proposals received without discussion with the offeror.  If oral presentations are required, they will be scheduled after the submission of proposals.  Oral presentations will be made at the offerors expense. If oral presentations are required, it is expected that they will be conducted during the week of August 4, 2014.

 

Protected Information

The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) provides that trade secrets, commercial information or non-individual financial information may be protected by submitting a Claim of Business Confidentiality.  However, in the event of an appropriate request for the informationunder the provisions of the GRAMA, there is no guarantee that the information will remain protected.

 

To best protect information under a Claim of Business Confidentiality, the offeror must:

  1. provide a written Claim of Business Confidentiality at the time the information (proposal) is provided to the County, and
  2. include a concise statement of reasons supporting the claim of business confidentiality,

 

A Claim of Business Confidentiality may be appropriate for information such as client lists and non-public financial statements.  Pricing and service elements may not be protected.  An entire proposal may not be protected under a Claim of Business Confidentiality.  The claim of business confidentiality must be submitted with your proposal on the provided form.

 

To ensure have the best chance of protecting the information is protectedfrom an appropriate GRAMA request, Box Elder County asks the offeror to clearly identify in the Executive Summary and in the body of the proposal any specific information for which an offeror claims business confidentiality protection as "PROTECTED".

 

All materials submitted become the property of Box Elder County.  Materials may be evaluated by anyone designated by the County as part of the proposal evaluation committee.  Materials submitted may be returned only at Box Elder County’s option.

 

Detailed Scope Of Work  – (please designate that you are able to comply with the scope of work)

  1. Provide analytical and strategic consulting services on an ongoing basis for group health and welfare benefit plans to the Box Elder County Human Resources Office and the Box Elder County Benefits Committee.
  2. Provide comprehensive underwriting/financial analysis services (i.e., project total annual funding levels, per member per year funding levels, generate specific dollar amount scenarios, forecast alternative funding scenarios, project future medical inflation scenarios, etc.).  
  3. Advise Box Elder County on how/ways the group health and welfare benefit plans fit into the County’s overall compensation and benefit objectives.
  4. Advise Box Elder County as to whether current providers are best meeting the needs of the County and/or whether new providers should be sought in light of current and future costs.
  5. Review Box Elder County’s current group health and welfare benefit plan to ensure compliance with State and Federal laws governing insurance (i.e., HIPAA, COBRA, ERISA, USERRA, FMLA, HCR etc.).
  6. Assist with the RFP process for selection of carrier(s) and/or TPA(s) for group health and welfare benefit plans.
  7. Assist in the negotiation of the contractual terms between Box Elder County and selected providers of group health and welfare benefit plans.
  8. Ensure that all contracts, plan documents and summary plan descriptions are produced and executed in a timely manner.  Review and advise the Box Elder County as to whether the contract meets the terms negotiated.
  9. Regularly review carrier(s) options and recommend implementation strategies to manage and/or reduce cost.
  10. Analyze and present plan design and plan utilization information on a quarterly basis to the Human Resources office.
  11. Secure renewal estimates for the upcoming plan year by July 1st of each year the contract is in effect, or other date as determined Box Elder County.  Evaluate the renewal proposals and report findings to Box Elder County in writing.  The consultant should have the ability and skill to negotiate the renewal proposals when appropriate.
  12. Present information and educate Box Elder County employees on an ongoing basis about the varied group health and welfare benefit plans offered by Box Elder County.
  13. Act as a liaison between Box Elder County, its individual employees and the insurance providers in resolving problems with an emphasis on seeking long-term solutions.
  14. Assist in the design, production and distribution of benefit information including but not limited to enrollment materials.

 

Tasks To Be Completed: All proposals must contain written responses to the following questions or requests for information:

  1. Briefly describe your organization and governance structure. Include your experience and qualifications in servicing large groups and carrier alliances. Describe your experiences with organizations of similar size, makeup and demographic which may or may not include Counties and other public entities. Describe what distinguishes your company from others in the industry.
  2. Provide background, industry affiliations and credentials of key management.
  3. Provide the names, qualifications and credentials, work experience and detail the specific function of individuals who will be assigned to the Box Elder County account. 
  4. Provide an overview of your customer service capabilities. Cite customer service capabilities that distinguish your company.
  5. Provide an overview of customer services features (i.e., benefit portals, web sites, etc.) your organization provides/has available. If electronic features are at an additional cost, detail charge. List the names of your electronic customer services staff or the name of the firm contracted to provide this service and location of these services.
  6. Describe your data systems, software, strategic evaluation programs and detail the ways those services will bring an enhanced benefit to Box Elder County. List the names of staff or the name of the firm contracted to provide this service and location of these services.
  7. Outline the underwriting services your firm is able to provide, independent of carrier underwriting. Provide in your proposal a sample of a claims utilization report developed by your firm. If independent underwriting is an additional cost, detail charge. List the names of your underwriting staff or the name of the firm contracted to provide this service and location of these services.
  8. Outline a wellness plan for Box Elder County employees, designed to promote health awareness. Explain your organizations philosophy on how wellness should be handled.
  9. With an emphasis on groups similar to Box Elder County’s unique needs, provide at least three examples of value the consultant added to specific insurance placements in the last three years.
  10. With an emphasis on groups similar to Box Elder County’s unique needs, provide at least three examples of creative or innovative product designs you have placed in the last five years.
  11. With an emphasis on groups similar to Box Elder County’s unique needs, provide at least three examples of effective advocacy in claims management or contract disputes over the last five years.
  12. Describe any unique services or special expertise your consulting firm offers that might be of value to the Box Elder County.
  13. References. The proposer shall submit a minimum of three (3) references. If possible, these should be Public Entities’: The name, phone number, business address, the name of a contact person and the contact person’s e-mail address.

 

Proposal Requirements And Company Qualifications

In order to respond to this RFP, the contractor offeror must meet the following qualifications:

  1.        Utah Business License.  Only companies holding a valid Utah Business License will be considered.
  2.        Insurance requirements.  Consultant Offeror shall maintain for the duration of the contract insurance against any claim(s) for Professional Liability and Errors or Omissions that may arise from or in connection with the performance of the work here under by the contracting partyofferor, his representatives or any employee(s).
  •          Minimum Limits of Insurance: Contracting partyOfferor shall maintain limits no less than five million dollars ($5,000,000.00).
  1. HIPAA Compliance.  For purposes of HIPAA, proposers offerors (“Business Associates”) must attest to Box Elder County HIPAA actions and compliance in writing.  Further, selected contractor offeror may be required to enter into a Business Associate Agreement(s) between Box Elder County and respective insurance carriers.

 

Proposal Response Format

All proposals must include:

  1.        Letter of Transmittal. Box Elder County requires a letter of transmittal, signed.
  2.        Executive Summary. The one or two page executive summary is to briefly describe the offeror's proposal. This summary should highlight the major features of the proposal.  It must indicate any requirements that cannot be met by the offeror.  The reader should be able to determine the essence of the proposal by reading the executive summary.  Protected information requests should be identified in this section.
  3.        Detailed Response. This section should constitute the major portion of the proposal and must contain at least the following information:

a)         A complete narrative of the offeror's assessment of the work to be performed, the offerors ability and approach, and the resources necessary to fulfill the requirements.  This should demonstrate the offeror's understanding of the desired overall performance expectations.  Clearly indicate any options or alternatives proposed. 

b)         A specific point-by-point response, in the order listed, to each requirement in the RFP.

  1.        Cost Proposal. Costs will be evaluated independently from the technical proposal. Provide itemized costs for all services included in your proposal.

The proposal must be set forth in such a way that it will allow the merits of the proposal to be evaluated in conjunction with applicable cost.  Include all costs (itemized) set forth in the scope of services which needs to include full service COBRA administration and single source (non-carrier) online enrollment, wellness services and underwriting.

 

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Box Elder County will evaluate proposals against the following weighted criteria.   Each area of the evaluation criteria must be addressed in detail in proposal.  Special consideration shall be given for proposers offerors who have a record of proven strategic consulting services in similar public environments.

 

Box Elder County reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, including token proposals, and to waive any informality of the proposals.  Box Elder County reserves the right to not accept the lowest proposal, when in the opinion of Box Elder County, a different proposal may be in the best interest of the County.

 

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Overall strategy in managing and enhancing the County’s group health and welfare employee benefit program.  Proposer’s Offeror’s services and any/all support functions and staff required to meet the

criteria established in this RFP. 30%

  1. Ability to demonstrate history of negotiated rates and benefits.   35%
  2. Strength of references, quality and applicability of the feedback from references provided preferably with a background similar to Box Elder County.   25%
  3. Cost.  An itemized description of each cost and how costs will be determined for any/all aspects of the proposers services.   5%
  4. Responsiveness.  The completeness and conformity of the proposal and response to the RFP requirements.   5%

 

Understandability and comprehensiveness of information supplied in this RFP will affect the evaluation of the above criteria.