Harlingen ISD Rejects Best & Lowest Bid

Harlingen Independent School District last week rejected what was purported to be the best and lowest health insurance proposal from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Texas. Despite the recommendation of the district’s insurance consultant (as reported by the Valley Morning Star) to award Blue Cross the contract, the district awarded the group health insurance contract instead to Valley Baptist Health Plans. The Board of Trustees voted to retain Valley Baptist on a split vote.

A week earlier, the same insurance consultant recommended the Blue Cross Blue Shield proposal be awarded as the City of Harlingen’s health plan, but that too was rejected by the City Council on a split vote basis.

Rumors abound that the consultant for both entities may be on a suicide watch.

It has been a bad two weeks for eager Blue Cross sales representatives it seems. Touting superior PPO discounts and low rates, Blue Cross sales representatives have become enthusiastic order takes of late.  With strong financial reserves, a systematic draw-down of reserves through below market rates is current strategy it appears. 

The insurance community is small and will take note of these developments. Future RFP’s by either entitiy may be problematic for some potential vendors. Such are the pitfalls of bidding on political subdivisions.

Editor’s Note: See Jan. 4, 2009 post “Political Subdivisions Sometimes (Or All The Time) Make Political Business Decisions”  


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 Blue Cross agent from Harlingen