A Brief History
The Formation of the Trust
Before the formation of the Teachers Health Trust, the health benefits of the licensed employees were managed by the Clark County School District (CCSD). The sustainability became a concern, though, when, in the short span of fourteen months (July, 1982 - September, 1983), the licensed employees were subjected to three rate increases of 23.9%, 17.9% and 29.4%, respectively.
In response to this rapid series of rate increases, the Clark County Education Association (CCEA), then known as the Clark County Classroom Teachers Association (CCCTA), initiated negotiations to resolve the ballooning costs of healthcare. The result of these negotiations was the establishment of the Clark County Classroom Teachers Association Welfare Benefit Trust (CCCTA WBT), the entity that you now know as the Teachers Health Trust.
The formation of the Trust shifted the duties of management and administration of the benefits from the CCSD to CCEA. The purpose of the shift was to empower the licensed employees to take charge of and make their own decisions in respect to their healthcare benefits. This reorganization resulted in the CCSD's function becoming, as it remains today, ministerial; making contributions on behalf of the licensed employees as well as providing necessary payroll deductions, eligibility lists and employment verification.
The CCEA's establishment of the Teachers Health Trust included the formation of the Board of Trustees, comprised exclusively of licensed employees, to serve as the organization's governing body. The formation of the Board of Trustees allowed CCEA to relinquish administrative and executive decisions to those whom the organization was formed to serve. From then to present day, the president of CCEA has served on the board as a non-voting observer. The President appoints the eight trustees, each serving a three-year term with the possibility of consecutive terms. The Board of Trustees are entrusted with the responsibility of employing a staff to manage daily operations and administer the benefits plans; directing overall operations; establishing policies; assessment and approval of any changes to the benefit plans; management of organization funds; and approval of expenditures.
During the span from 1983 through 1987, the newly formed Teachers Health Trust stabilized the rates that had seen rampant increases prior to its establishment and oversaw the additions of dental and vision benefits to its plans. 1987 also saw the self-funding of the medical indemnity plan and the purchase of stop-loss insurance to protect against catastrophic losses. The success of these formative years were made possible by the ability of the Trustees to purchase services directly from vendors.
The Trustees opened the year of 1990 with two comprehensive medical plans being offered. These plans were Health Plan of Nevada (HPN) as well as the introduction of the self-funded Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan. The new PPO Plan allowed the Trustees to negotiate directly with vendors for services, helping them to manage out-of-pocket costs for the licensed employees, provided they used PPO providers.
The span of time from January of 1993 through September of 1996 were host to many additions and enhancements to the Trust's offerings. In January of 1993, the Trust took responsibility for record keeping of the Section 125 Plans (Premium- Only-Plan, Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan, Dependent Care Reimbursement Plan). 1995 was a banner year with the introduction of the Dental Plan, the formation of the Wellness Division and long-term disability benefits being made available.
The Trust continued to evolve and look for ways to maximize the benefits offered to its participants. In the time period of 1998-1999, premiums charged to eligible participants for single coverage were eliminated; a $10,000 Term Life Insurance benefit for dependents enrolled in a medical plan began; and benefits for orthodontia, plus one, infertility, enhanced hearing and vision were all implemented. As the millennium came to a close, the Trust had succeeded in showing that a self-funded benefits plan was the best approach to minimizing the impact of the ever-expanding cost of healthcare on participants.
The Millennium Onward
As the Trust entered the new century, it remained focused on continuing to provide the best benefits and resources possible. In October of 2001, the Trust's first website was launched, providing participants complete access to the tools required to analyze and understand their plan. That year closed with the Trust receiving the honor of the Platinum Star Award from Southern Nevada Wellness Council for the best Wellness Program in Southern Nevada. Last, but not least, the close of 2001 brought the official name change for the organization from the CCEA Welfare benefit Trust to the Teachers Health Trust.
The years 2003-2005 hosted a steady stream of updates and refinements. The Trust opened up the year of 2003 by updating the PPOs network of providers to Mediversal Family Carenet. In April of 2004, the Trust expanded its resource program for diabetic participants and re-dubbed the program Lifestyle Decisions. In addition, the program added support for coronary conditions as well as diabetes. 2005 brought the continuing expansion and refinement of benefits, such as the Health Improvement Benefit, providing reimbursement for a wide array of services and activities undertaken in an effort to maintain good health.
In 2009, the Trust continued to add workshops aimed at helping participants more easily address the health needs of their family with the introduction of the annual Back-to-School Immunization Workshop. At the end of that year, the Trust's ongoing effort to provide quality care at the best cost was realized again with the move from a third party administrator to their own network for dental benefits. This time of continuous program implementation also saw the inaugural year of the annual Diabetes Health Fair in the Spring of 2010.
The Mission Continues
There is little doubt that the Teachers Health Trust has come a long way from its humble origins. One thing remains just as true today, though, as it was at the time of its formation. The Trust is, always has been and shall remain an institution for teachers by teachers. Maintaining its long and storied mission to achieve proven excellence in delivering the highest quality of health and welfare benefits for our participants remains at the forefront of all we do. We may not know what the next decade holds, but we are sure it will be full of a new set of milestones as the mission continues.