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BOE goes with KASB for insurance

8/5/2014

By JUDY SHERARD

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

The Hays USD 489 Board of Education resolved its workers' compensation insurance issues at Monday's board meeting.

The district will contract with the Kansas Association of School Boards for $237,502, for coverage with a $2,500 deductible.

The board accepted the KASB bid and rejected a bid for $239,652 from United Heartland, represented by Insurance Planning Inc. at the July 21 meeting.

Heartland initially charged the district a short-term cancellation penalty of nearly $70,000 because the board accepted another company's bid.

The penalty was adjusted at least twice and was listed at an estimated $30,690 pro-rata cancellation fee at Monday's meeting.

Larry Caspers, IPI president, stated in an email to Tracy Kaiser, USD 489 executive director of finance, the penalty was due since Heartland provided coverage since July 1.

At last Thursday's work session, board members questioned their obligation to pay a penalty for a policy they didn't approve and asked for legal advice.

Board attorney Bill Jeter declined to advise them because of a conflict of interest.

The board hired Don Hoffman at a rate of $220 per hour to represent them in the matter.

"You were being billed for a termination for a contract that you never signed or ever approved," Hoffman said. "I think there would have to be an approval by this board before you'd be covered by that contract." The state requires the district to maintain workers' compensation insurance, and a lapse in coverage could result in a fine.

"I was asked numerous times are we covered, and the answer was yes," Caspers said. "If you decide to go with KASB, you'll get no resistance from us."

The district will continue its policy with IPI for multi-peril insurance.

A claim has been submitted to United Heartland for a hand injury.

KASB has approved back dating the policy to July 1 "as long as we can get a letter from the district that the only claim during that time frame is the cut on the hand," said David Shriver, KASB assistant executive director of insurance services/attorney.

"It sounds to me like it's resolved," Hoffman said.

The board had a 15-minute executive session with Jeter, Kaiser, Superintendent Dean Katt and Assistant Superintendent of Special Services Mark Hauptman to discuss negotiations.

In other business, the board:

* Heard site council reports from each school.

* Approved the Child and Adult Care Food Program certification and renewal documents.

* Approved transferring money from the adult education fund to the at-risk K-12 fund.

* Heard an FY15 budget review from Kaiser and approved the notice of budget hearing Aug. 18.

* There were no personnel transactions.