FOBISIA 2024 Business and Operations Workshop: Managing faculty health insurance

Last month One World Cover’s Customer Experience Director Michael Pennington was in Bangkok to present at the Federation of British International Schools in Asia’s (FOBISIA) 2024 Business and Operations Conference to a full room of school business and operations leaders about strategies for managing their international schools’ faculty health insurance plans and faculty wellbeing.

Surprisingly a lot of schools were either not aware of these strategies, or even worse – were aware, but are not currently implementing them.

Here’s a brief snapshot of Michael’s workshop

Premiums will increase due to Medical Trend 10% YOY

If a school does not actively take steps to manage the health insurance claims spend and plan utilization, expect premiums to increase by at least 10% year-on-year.

Medical trend (often referred to as medical inflation) refers to the projected increase in the cost of healthcare services over time.

It’s a significant factor influencing health insurance premiums, especially in countries with a high number of expatriates. These countries often see a higher medical trend due to the reliance on costly private healthcare services. Download our medical trend report here.

Specific Challenge for International Schools

International schools face unique challenges regarding medical trend. With a substantial number of expats, these institutions often encounter higher than average medical costs. Managing these costs while ensuring comprehensive coverage for faculty is a delicate balance.

Top Tips to Stay Ahead of Medical Trend

Building a 3-5 Year Strategy

  • Review Benefits: Ensure your health insurance plan’s benefits align with employee needs, but have a balanced cost sharing mechanism so that faculty cannot use their health insurance benefits like an open check book, or unlimited credit card.
  • Strategic Planning: Consider a reasonable cost sharing mechanism such as a deductible, co-pay, and covered expense sub-limits.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Track claims data to ensure benefits remain aligned with healthcare trends and financial constraints.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Some schools do not get their claims loss ratio data. Even schools with premiums over US$500,000 which at One World Cover we find to be unbelievable.

  • Claim reports: Ensure you work with an insurer who offers you regular claims reporting.
  • Regular Feedback Loop: Ensure you get reports undated monthly, or at a minimum quarterly so you can actively manage and stay ahead of your schools trends.
  • Claim Data Analytics: Use analytics to identify high-cost claim areas and build a real-time picture of plan utilization.
  • Adjust Plan Design: Modify your strategy based on your school’s data (not others) to anticipate and adapt to healthcare trends.

Prioritize Faculty Wellbeing and Workplace Wellness

  • Preventative Care: Encourage annual health check-ups and onsite wellness activities. Catching catastrophic conditions such as cancer early can significantly impact loss ratios (and save lives).
  • Build a network with reasonably-priced reputable hospitals and clinics in your city or region: Have your team engage with them, meet their leadership, and invite them to join your faculty orientation weeks, onsite tours, or wellness initiatives. Find ways to encourage faculty to consider them.
  • Avoid campaigns with the highest cost private facilities (where possible).
  • Talk to your insurer about how they work with local providers to negotiate lower treatment costs for high-cost treatments and chronic conditions.
  • Wellness Initiatives: Implement programs addressing physical and mental health to reduce absenteeism and claims while promoting a happier workplace.

Balancing Goals of HR vs CFOs


  • CFO Perspective: Adding deductibles can significantly reduce premiums.
  • HR Perspective: Employees may view deductibles as a lack of care from their employer.
  • Balanced Approach: Offer a wellness fund equivalent to the deductible to offset employee concerns.

Onsite Annual Health Check-ups

  • HR Perspective: Shows commitment to staff wellbeing and saves time.
  • CFO Perspective: Potentially increases hospital visits and claims.
  • Balanced Approach: Partner with a healthcare provider willing to offer free onsite health screenings to build relationships.

Key Takeaway – Start actively managing your international school’s faculty health insurance plan

School needs to set the boundaries around health insurance cost containment, or face unsustainable premium increases each year.

School’s finance and human resources departments do not need to get the benefits planning 100% correct the first time.

The KEY is – just get started.

Unsure what changes to make for your July / August renewal?

If this seems like a lot of information to take in, it’s ok, we’re here to help.

We understand the complexities of managing health insurance and staying ahead of medical trends.

Our team is ready to assist you in developing a sustainable, cost-effective strategy that prioritizes both financial stewardship and faculty well-being.

Ready to get started? Contact us today to:

  • Get a personalized review of your current plan: We’ll help you identify areas for cost savings and better coverage.
  • Access exclusive wellness initiatives: Learn how you can implement programs that improve faculty health and happiness.
  • Integrate telehealth solutions: Discover how telemedicine can reduce costs and enhance your health benefits.
  • Receive expert guidance: Our team of specialists is here to answer your questions and provide tailored recommendations.

Don’t wait – ensure your school’s health insurance plan is optimized for the new academic year. Schedule a zoom by clicking above, or email us at [email protected]

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