Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that a new life insurance contract, approved by the County Board at its meeting today, is expected to yield more than $1 million in savings annually.
Under terms of the contract negotiated by the County’s Procurement and Risk Management Offices, following a competitive bidding process, Minnesota Life will provide life insurance services for County employees for three years with two one-year options for renewal, creating annualized savings of $1.14 million. With the previous vendor, Cook County was spending roughly $3.59 million annually. The yearly cost of the new agreement is expected to be $2.45 million.
“Whether we are negotiating a life insurance contract or reducing the use of printers, we will do whatever we can to provide more efficient services at a lower cost,” Preckwinkle said. “Cook County is facing a challenging budget year and we must continue doing more with less. This is an important example of how we are working to ensure a County government that is operating as cost-effectively as possible.”
The contract culminates a process that began with a Request for Proposals for group term life benefits that was released in September 2014. The County received and evaluated eight proposals in response to the RFP in accordance with the Cook County procurement code.
Minnesota Life’s proposal scored consistently high during the evaluation process when County officials reviewed it against the scope of required services to offer both group term and supplemental life insurance to Cook County employees. The pricing offered is guaranteed for the term of the contract and includes significant savings from the County’s previous life insurance contract.
Under President Preckwinkle, the County has completely revamped its public procurement process to increase competitive bidding on County business while making the process more efficient. The life insurance contract is the latest example of hard dollar savings and benefits that these changes are providing for the County and its taxpaying public.
This contract also includes new administrative support from the vendor on record keeping and the claims submission process. Minnesota Life also provides several electronic options, including online evidence of insurability and beneficiary designations, online claims submission and an automation of the coverage continuation process.
“Over the last two months we have identified $8 million in savings and our efforts to encourage smart, streamlined government won’t stop there,” Preckwinkle said. “I think it is important to lead by example as we are encouraging all of our Bureau Chiefs and Department Heads, as well as the separately elected officials, to reduce operating expenses and find savings this year.”
Preckwinkle recently announced personnel and non-personnel savings of $7 million while noting that her office continues its effort to pursue vendor savings and review use of cell phones, printers and vehicles to further decrease expenses.