ABOUT OEA CHOICE TRUST
Dedicated to workplace wellness for all Oregon public school employees, we offer expertise, experience and grant funding to help create school employee wellness programs that support employees’ specific goals. Together with teachers, school staff and administrators we are building a culture of well-being in Oregon public K-12 districts, education service districts and community colleges. Click on the buttons below to learn more about OEA Choice Trust.
We provide expertise and resources to help Oregon public school employees create comprehensive and flexible well-being programs to build a culture of wellness that becomes the norm. We prioritize quality service and partnerships that support a journey to wellness.
All Oregon public school employees are healthy, resilient and engaged as champions for healthy school environments and vital communities. As a result, they are fulfilled in their work, model well-being for students and are better equipped to foster student success.
OEA Choice Trust is made up of the
Board of Trustees and 6 staff members.
OEA Choice Trust works with a
variety of partners to achieve its mission.
OEA CHOICE TRUST HISTORY
1980 - OEA Choice Trust Founded
OEA Choice Welfare Benefit Trust (Trust) was founded July 1980, for the sole purpose of providing service oriented, cost effective, comprehensive benefit programs for participating members.
The Trust’s Plan is an “Employee Welfare Benefit Plan” as defined in Section 3 (1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, amended (ERISA). The Plan and the Trust Agreement are interdependent and together constitute a voluntary employee beneficiary association within the meaning of Section 501(c)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.
1980 - 1990's
All Trust funds were held in trust for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits in order to safeguard, improve, and assure the health and economic welfare of participants and their families. During that time, over 25,000 members participated in one or more healthcare plans offered by the Trust.
From 1980 until 1985, all health plan claims were processed and paid by the insurance carriers. In 1985, a claim processing system was installed at the Trust offices in Tigard, Oregon. That year over 80,000 claims were paid, and in 1998/99, over 202,413 claims were paid.
The Trust, as an ERISA plan, utilized the Trust’s Board of Trustees in its appeal process. In addition to the written appeal, the claimant was allowed representation by counsel, or by any other representative of their choosing at the claim appeal review. The ability of members to have a denied claim reviewed by a body of their peers was always a strong competitive feature offered by the Trust.
1997 - New Claims Processing System
In 1997, the Trust moved from our claims paying system to a larger system which consolidated the claims processing system with the premium billing and eligibility system. As a result, more comprehensive reports became available to measure the effectiveness of the Trust’s claims payment.
2001 - OEA Choice Trust Enters into a Partnership with ODS Health Plans
In October of 2001, the Trust entered into a strategic partnership with ODS Health Plans (now called Moda Health) to replace Pacific Life and Annuity (PL&A) as the underwriter for all the Trust’s medical, vision and dental plans. ODS Health Plans is an Oregon Corporation, the largest dental carrier in the state, and had underwritten the Trust’s dental plans for 20 years. This change allowed the Trust access to an enhanced claims processing system which would meet future legislative requirements.
2007 - Senate Bill 426 Passed
During the 2007 Oregon Legislative Session, Senate Bill 426 was passed which established the Oregon Educator’s Benefit Board (OEBB). Effective October 1, 2008, school districts were required to join OEBB at the end of their contract year, or earlier if they chose. Most districts and community colleges opted to enroll in OEBB and as a result, are receiving insurance benefits in a large pool that provides comprehensive benefit plans with competitive premiums. Consequently, OEA Choice Trust ceased administration of medical, vision, dental and long-term disability insurance and later Section 125 administration.
Over time, the Trust developed the following programs to continue the mission of providing benefits to Oregon public school employees as a means of giving back to Oregon public school employees.
2008 - Tooth Taxi
The Tooth Taxi, a state-of-the-art mobile dental office, was built thanks to OEA Choice Trust’s unique partnership with The Dental Foundation of Oregon and ODS. The Tooth Taxi delivers free dental care to underserved children in the state. By providing direct dental services to students, the Tooth Taxi promotes the connection between health and education and offers a great way for OEA Choice Trust to visit different school communities, educators, administrators, staff and parents.
2009 - OEA Choice Trust Implements OEA Choice Trust Wellness Grant Program
In 2009, OEA Choice Trust implemented the OEA Choice Trust Wellness Grant Program. OEA Choice Trust recognizes many diverse health and wellness issues face different district and school locations; that’s why the School Employee Wellness Grant Program is designed to allow the flexibility to design and tailor employee wellness programs to best match the unique goals and needs of local districts to promote the physical, emotional and social well-being of all staff. To be eligible, an applicant must be a K-12 Oregon School District, Education Service District, or Community College.
OEA Choice Trust (Trust) Wellness Grants range from $2,500 to a maximum of $25,000 per grant year. Meeting certain requirements, school districts may request a maximum of $75,000 for school employee wellness programs that will be implemented within five years.
2010 - Polar BodyAge
Polar BodyAge (BodyAge) testing. This system is a health/fitness assessment tool available to current grantee groups. Participants receive a computer generated report with blood pressure, body composition, flexibility and strength results that are used to calculate their body age. The report compares it with their actual chronological age and outlines steps that can be taken to decrease one’s body age and improve overall health and fitness.
2012 - Annual Statewide Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference
In March of 2012, the first Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference became a reality. Inspired by the nationally recognized Oregon Seaside Health Education Conference, leaders from OEA Choice Trust and Moda Health gathered to discuss how they could engage school employees on a journey to better health in a similar fashion. They recognized that a school employee’s personal journey, with the school as the hub, has the power to inspire and shape the health and well-being of students and communities.
Continuing the intent of the conference founders, a committee of committed individuals works to develop meaningful programs for the annual Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference. This committee includes representatives form Moda Health, Kaiser Permanente, OEA Choice Trust, OEA, COSA, Multnomah ESD, OR ASCD, ODE Child Nutrition Programs, Oregon Public Health Division and OSBA, Lane County Public Health , Multnomah County Health, Centennial School District, and OHSU.
2014 - Rebranding
In September of 2014, OEA Choice Trust went through a rebranding. New presentation materials that staff worked on with the Metropolitan Group to solidify the mission and vision statements; include a new brochure/poster; three one page documents that have talking points on school worksite wellness for school staff, leadership and community partners; and a PowerPoint presentation template.
2016 - Walker Tracker
In February 2016 OEA Choice Trust signed a letter of agreement with Walker Tracker, an online wellness tracking tool that is customizable to meet participant needs and also motivate participants through virtual map challenges and social engagement. In April of 2016, Walker Tracker set up a webinar for school districts, education service districts and community colleges meeting the criteria to participate in the OEA Choice Trust pilot walking challenge with 4 groups participating, including OEA Choice Trust staff and Board members.
A guide to making employee wellness programs work for school districts, education service districts and community colleges.
Check out some of our success stories.
Ready to take a step towards wellness, apply for the grant today.