If you’re a member of The Alliance, a patronage check will arrive at your organization soon.
It may be delivered in the mail addressed to your designated contact with The Alliance. Or it may be delivered by me or by Member Services Advisor Paul Roelke.
Patronage is Part of How We Do Business
We deliver patronage checks in person when we can reach members in a timely way. With more than 240 members in a growing geographic area, it’s not possible to reach everyone in person while the checks are still fresh. That’s too bad, because it’s always fun to deliver a check, even when members are surprised.
As a cooperative, paying members back with a patronage check is just a normal part of how we do business.
Here’s how it works:
- When the fiscal year ends on May 31, The Alliance tallies its books and determines whether there is an operating surplus. The operating surplus is the amount that remains after expenses and obligations are paid.
- The Alliance Board of Directors splits the operating surplus into two categories of “patronage.” The first category is “allocated equity” that can be used as cash reserves and operating capital, but is held in the names of specific members. The board may periodically decide to pay out this allocated equity to members, which last occurred in 2012.
- The second category is the check payment made directly to members. In 2015, the board decided 57 percent would be “allocated equity” and 43 percent would be paid to members now.
- Your share of the payout is based on your patronage of The Alliance, or how much you used The Alliance network to purchase health care. In other words, we look at your contribution to the total revenue received by The Alliance. That percentage figure becomes your share of the patronage payout.
In 2015, a total of $754,000 is going back to our members.
Sharing the Rewards of Self-Funding
As a cooperative, we believe in emphasizing the benefits of being a member-owner. Other rewards of self-funding your health benefits with The Alliance include:
- Network savings on health care charges that average more than 36 percent in 2015.
- High-value services, such as the Find a Doctor transparency tool that provides cost and quality data along with information about in-network doctors and hospitals.
- Employer-focused products, such as the QualityPath initiative that guides patients to high-value care for high-stakes procedures.
- Partnerships that provide discounts for stop-loss coverage, pharmacy benefits, dental insurance, vision insurance and more.
- Free participation in Alliance Learning Circles and other educational events.
Make the Most of Cooperative Membership
As a cooperative member, you have a unique opportunity to learn about the inner workings of The Alliance, which includes viewing a copy of our financial report and voting to elect the Board of Directors.
You can join in these activities by participating in our Annual Meeting on Oct. 27 at Monona Terrace. Look for your invitation in your email inbox in September.
And in the meantime, keep an eye out for your organization’s patronage check.
Mike has a strong background in health benefits and self-funding. He previously served as a regional sales advisor for Digital Benefits Advisors in Madison, Wis., where he managed the health benefits for more than 160 credit union clients across 14 states. Prior to that position, Mike worked at CUNA Mutual Group in their employee benefits division for almost 10 years as an employee benefits sales specialist.
Mike has a bachelor’s degree with a double major in marketing and business administration and is licensed in both health and life insurance in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Montana.
Read blog posts by Mike.
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