Managing COBRA Billing Across Districts
- Industry: K-12 Education
- Location: Pleasant Hill, California
- Number of Districts: 16
- Number of Students: 100,260
- Number of Employees: 9,000
- Tyler Client Since: 2010
- Tyler Products Used: Munis, Tyler Content Manager
The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) oversees 18 school districts within Contra Costa County and provides education-related services to the school districts at each district’s request. CCCOE provides Munis® hosting for 16 of the 18 districts within the county.
One of the challenges that the CCCOE faced with this type of multi-district management was with COBRA insurance billing. Districts prepay COBRA insurance premiums for district employees and insurance premiums for retirees. Each district is a separate, independent entity with its own boards of education and administrative offices, and all 16 districts were using third-party software outside of Munis to handle this billing. This created many issues within the county because information needed to be entered into both Munis and the third-party billing system, not to mention inconsistencies across districts because each district had a different third-party software vendor.
CCCOE knew it needed to find a solution to create better integration and efficiencies within the office of education, as well as across the 16 districts in Contra Costa County.
CCCOE proposed eliminating third-party software and developed a procedure to process COBRA billing within Munis by leveraging the General Billing and Accounts Receivable modules.
According to Christine Irwin, CCCOE systems support representative, “We started this project by reviewing the current billing processes. Once the process was understood, we decided to use one district as a pilot district. We worked with this district to ensure all required settings and codes were created.” This testing process required cooperation from district staff, district payroll and business services, human resources, and other key stakeholders. Irwin went on to explain that, “Once the pilot district successfully completed the process, step-by-step documentation was created, and this process was then offered to all districts using third-party billing software.”
Once the established process was in place, CCCOE split the remaining 15 districts into two go-live groups and implemented the new COBRA billing processes approximately six months apart. For training, it created documentation and made labs available during go-live for hands-on assistance. Irwin shared, “This approach worked because there were districts that knew what they were doing so there were more point people for assistance during the second deployment, and the first deployment taught us what not to do the second time.”
Munis has given all 16 districts the ability to easily bill and track former employees or retirees with health benefits that are self-funded. It also eliminated the need for the creation of complex reports.
Systems Support Representative Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), Pleasant Hill, California
As a result of streamlining the COBRA billing processes, CCCOE and the 16 districts using Munis have seen significant savings in both time and money because the districts no longer pay for their own third-party billing software and the duplicate data entry has been eliminated.
Irwin shared that, “Munis has given all sixteen districts the ability to easily bill and track former employees or retirees with health benefits that are self-funded. It also eliminated the need for the creation of complex reports. These reports are now conveniently run within the Munis General Billing module. Employee data that was already being stored in Munis can now be leveraged and located in one centralized program.” She went on to explain one of the greatest benefits of this improvement is that CCCOE now has access to reporting capabilities that it could not leverage before with multiple different billing systems.