VLCT Employment Resource and Benefits (VERB) Trust, Inc.
Board of Directors Meeting
March 15, 2018
VLCT Offices, Montpelier, Vermont
Directors present: Bill Shepeluk, Todd Provencher, Joe Colengelo (by phone), Carrie Johnson (by phone), Kathleen Ramsay (10:25 a.m.) and Todd Odit (by phone)
Directors absent: Joel Cope
VLCT staff present: Maura Carroll, Joe Damiata, David Sichel, Jeremiah Breer, Kelley Avery and Larry Smith
The meeting was called to order at 10:07 a.m. A board quorum was confirmed.
Upon motion (Provencher/Colangelo), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to approve the meeting agenda.
Upon motion (Provencher/Johnson), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the December 14, 2017 meeting.
Joe Damiata provided a brief organizational update. The 2018 VLCT Listening Sessions have begun. Yesterday’s initial session scheduled in Fayston was cancelled due to weather. The next session is scheduled for next week in Stowe. New glass was in the reception area to improve security, and a new property and liability claims staff person has been hired.
Maura Carroll informed the board that VLCT will conduct a staff survey soon. Also, staff has begun work on the 2017 Annual Report. Ms. Carroll also informed the board she attended an NLC Board of Directors meeting this week, and she was appointed to NLC’s Membership Committee.
Jeremiah Breer reviewed the unaudited financials through year-end 2017. Revenue, general and administrative expenses and claims all were under budget while investments performed better than expected, which resulted in an increase in net position. The finalized, audited financials will be presented at the next meeting.
Kelley Avery reviewed the fourth quarter 2017 unemployment claims reports. Fourth quarter claims were 4% lower than the fourth quarter of 2016, although claims increased by 70% compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016. The number of claims processed rose from both Q3 to Q4 2017, and in comparison to Q4 2016. Overall, for the year, claims costs reduced by over 24% compared to 2016.
Ms. Avery also reviewed the UI Program Summary Analysis through 2017. On average, the total number of claims processed is still trending downward, despite a slight increase of 2% for 2017. The total number of protestable claims is still low, at only 12%. Total claims costs continue to trend downward as well, including the average costs per claim, which decreased 26% in 2017 compared to 2016. Member average costs are also decreasing substantially due to reducing rates and contribution credits returned. The average cost per member (including claims plus general and administrative expenses) reduced by 13%, while the average member contribution fell by 14%. Member net contributions decreased by 25% from 2016 to 2017.
Upon motion (Provencher/Ramsay), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to accept the unemployment quarterly and annual reports through Q4 2017.
President Shepeluk reported on the January 26 meeting of the Joint Investment Committee. The committee reviewed portfolio benchmarks and was overall very pleased with the performance of the various portfolios. Investment returns were 5.74% overall for 2017.
Upon motion (Provencher/Ramsay), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to accept the report of the Joint Investment Committee.
At the board’s request from the last meeting, staff sent out nominations for an Alternate board member. One nomination was received from Christopher Hoyt, selectboard vice-chair in West Haven. Joe Damiata pointed out that the PACIF Board currently has two board alternates, and it oftentimes proves quite helpful to have that additional input on issues.
Upon motion (Provencher/Ramsay), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to appoint Christopher Hoyt of West Haven as an Alternate Board Member.
Kelley Avery briefly reviewed the 2017 Health Advocate Utilization report. Program utilization is up 13% from 2016 to 2017. Claims assistance is still the most common category for service provided. Our new account manager, Mia Farrell, has been holding educational webinars regarding Health Advocate services for members, which have been well-attended, and she will be holding one final training next week. Staff is still gathering information from VERB Trust members newly eligible for Health Advocate services in 2018, but this should be completed soon.
Ms. Avery also reviewed a utilization report provided from EyeMed Vision Care. Although the number of participants has increased from 2016 to 2017, utilization in EyeMed services is down slightly. Our current contract expires at year-end, and staff has been working with VSP on a quote package. Although costs are normally higher with VSP, their network has proven more expansive in the Vermont region than EyeMed’s. Staff is still in the preliminary stages with VSP, but will have additional information in the future.
Ms. Avery presented an educational session to the board on Unemployment 101 – The Claim Process. The presentation provided a brief history of the UI system on both federal and state levels, the unemployment claim process from start to finish, hearings and appeals information and other such matters related to unemployment administration.
David Sichel provided the legislative update. Some bills have been introduced related to worker’s comp coverage and health insurance matters.
Joe Damiata briefly demonstrated features of the DOMO data analytics system NLC Mutual Insurance Company has been sharing with VLCT PACIF. The system may be used to analyze not only PACIF’s data, but that of other leagues as well. The system provides versatility and functionality with numerous charts and visuals. Mr. Damiata will provide the board with more info on this in the future as the project progresses.
The meeting adjourned at 11:50 a.m.
David Sichel, Assistant Secretary