How to Compare and Bid Plans

international exchange insurance resources

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Prior Experience

  • Years in business
  • References from current clients
  • References of past clients

Customer Service

  • Average ID turnaround
  • Average claim turnaround
  • Provide examples of communications, such as explanation of benefits & denials letter
  • Language skills of customer service
  • What type of training do customer service undergo to prepare them for dealing with international exchange participants
  • Location of customer service operation
  • Name and availability of direct customer service contact
  • Availability of firm’s primary service representative
  • Hours of service
  • Sample brochure
  • Assistance with orientation materials


  • Financial Stability of the carrier (Best Rating)
  • Licensing of carrier/broker
  • If contract is with broker (not carrier) how long has carrier been on book? If short period, what is history with prior carriers?
  • Will broker guarantee in writing that replacement carriers will have the appropriate rating?
  • Please provide examples of reports
  • Refund guidelines
  • Late enrollment guidelines
  • Availability of weekly or daily rate?

Pricing Factors/Questions

  • How will renewal rates and fees be calculated?
  • Obtain a brief explanation of the experience rating methodology you propose for this group. Is the Pricing pooled or experience rated?
  • If pooled, outline rate history
  • If experienced, what is claims/premium ratio?
  • Is there a PPO element? If so, obtain details.
  • How does claims administrator determine reasonable & customary?
  • What is the current level of medical trend used for a nationwide account such as this group?
  • When will you be able to present a renewal position for the 09-10 plan year?
  • Please illustrate any rate guarantees or capitations available for 2009 & 2010

Pricing Factors/Questions for Larger Plans

  • How are PPO fees paid and please identify average charges
  • Will you be able to use the completion factors from the current administrator in renewal calculations?
  • If not, how will you project runout?
  • How does your actuarial and underwriter measure trend?
  • Please illustrate a proposed dividend arrangement should the experience be below projected

Administrative Tasks

  • What are enrollment arrangements?
  • What are billing arrangements?

Web Services

  • Detail administrator services (enrollment, plan management)
  • Detail student services (claims, IDís, etc)
  • Web content
International Association of Student Insurance Services - IASIS
Compass Benefits is the endorsed North American Broker for IASIS, the non-profit insurance & Educational Travel Confederation.


1.Establish selection criteria and relative importance, i.e.
    1. Price
    2. Coverage
    3. Financial stability
    4. Program stability
    5. Claims processing capabilities
    6. Other service arrangements (ID’s, orientation development, etc)
    7. Web content/capabilities
    8.  Others significant to your organization