Posted by Ryan Schweizer, Client Executive, OneDigital Health and Benefits on 10/14/2019

Choosing the right health plan can be confusing. So it begs the question, how do you know if you are making the right decision—in this particular case, choosing between a point of service (POS) or high deductible health plan (HDHP). 

When making such a decision, it is important to take a step back and reflect on how you have used your health plan in the past and consider any potential health care needs. We know it is tough to predict what your health care needs will be over the course of a year, but these are important factors to think about as they will help prevent you from selecting coverage that fails to meet your medical needs or keep you from getting too much coverage that will go underutilized. 

Also important is keeping premium cost top of mind. There is the common misconception that the more you pay for a plan, the better it is. To clarify, simply picking the most expensive plan does not guarantee it is the best plan for you. At the same time, you should be aware that selecting a plan with a lower premium will likely have a higher deductible. 

So let us clear some things up. 

Point of service (POS)
A point of service plan is a type of managed care plan that requires policyholders to make co-payments for different services, but also affords you the opportunity to go outside of the provider network if needed.  Keep in mind, to receive care from non-network providers will result in larger out-of-pocket costs. 

If you are someone who has frequent doctors visit or has several prescriptions that require regular refilling, a POS plan may be your best bet. The monthly premiums are a little higher than the HDHP premium, but instead of paying deductibles you have the comfort of knowing how much your visit will cost with copays, which is not true for HDHP. 

High deductible health plan (HDHP)

As its name implies, this plan has a high deductible.  With an HDHP, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for everything other than preventive care services until you hit your deductible.  HDHPs are the only plans that allow you to contribute to a health savings account (HSA).  An HSA is a tax-advantage healthcare savings account that allows pre-tax dollars to be contributed to pay for qualified healthcare expenses. 

With a lower monthly premium than the POS plan coupled with the HSA employer contribution, you are saving (and earning) money that could be put used for medical expenses later on down the line. HDHP plans tend to be more beneficial for younger, single employees with in relatively good health with few yearly doctor visits outside of the annual preventive services. 

In conclusion…

Choosing a medical plan does not have to be stressful.  Familiarize yourself with the plan specifics, consider how you use your health plan and factor in the premium and other financial benefits before making a decision. If you still have questions, reach out to Ryan Schweizer at:

Categories: Business Partners, Compliance, Education & Training, Financial & Auditing, Human Resources
Posted by Leah Schlangen, Investment Officer, Catalyst Corporate FCU on 9/26/2019

Managing a credit union comes with its rewards and challenges. And in today’s market, one of the most prevalent challenges is managing the various types of risk credit unions face. There’s credit risk, interest rate risk, concentration risk and reputation risk – just tochecklist-2077020_640 name a few. However, one particular risk factor that has loomed in the distance, but is now quickly moving up the ranks, is liquidity risk. 

Liquidity risk is the danger that a financial institution may be unable to meet short-term financial demands. This usually occurs when a security or hard asset can’t be converted to cash without losing capital and/or income in the process. Liquidity is an inherent concern for most credit unions. At times, you may need to transform the maturity structure of deposits into loans, which in itself, creates a liquidity vulnerability. Additionally, members can demand their deposits back at any time, and your credit union has to be able to fund those withdrawals. How do you prepare for such scenarios? With an up-to-date liquidity policy and a robust contingency funding plan.

As of March 2014, the NCUA requires every federally-insured credit union to have a liquidity policy in place to help measure, monitor, and manage its liquidity and liquidity risk. In addition, all federally insured credit unions with assets over $50 million must have a formal, written contingency funding plan. The NCUA suggests, however, that this is a sound practice for all credit unions, regardless of size.

A contingency funding plan helps ensure that your credit union can manage routine and unexpected fluctuations in liquidity. As an integral component of your overall risk management plan, it is also useful for:   

  • Helping management monitor liquidity risk
  • Ensuring the appropriate amount of liquid assets is maintained
  • Measuring and projecting funding requirements during various scenarios
  • Managing access to funding sources

In addition to your regulators’ requirements, you may want to consider the following when creating or updating your credit union’s contingency funding plan:

  • Specify comfortable liquidity levels.
  • Set funding limits and subsequent actions when those limits are met.
  • Address and implement alternative funding sources and assess their adequacy in contingency situations.
  • Identify and test any back-up facilities (lines of credit or issuing requirements). Match potential sources with uses of funds.
  • Establish indicators or triggers that alert management when a predetermined level of potential risk is reached.
  • Identify and outline specific risk tolerances.
  • Analyze and project quantitatively all significant on- and off-balance sheet flow of funds and their related effects.
  • Identify the sequence in which sources of funds will be used for contingency needs. The uncertainty of the magnitude and timing of available resources may call for different priorities in different situations.
  • Accelerate the timeframes for reporting – such as daily cash flow schedules– during a liquidity shortage.
  • Include an asset tracking system that monitors which assets are immediately available for pledging or sale and how much a cash sale of these assets will generate.
  • Establish a proactive risk management culture, starting with your management team and board members. Define responsibilities and decision-making authority, so that all personnel understand their role during a problem-funding situation.

The objective of the contingency funding plan is not to predict the future. Rather, the great value of such a plan is its dual functionality as both a crisis management document and an in-depth liquidity profile evaluation. As an assessment and action tool, the contingency planning process provides additional insight into your credit union’s liquidity strengths and weaknesses, which complements ongoing asset/liability monitoring efforts.

In a crisis situation, management has little time to plan its strategy, so it’s imperative to have a well-developed contingency funding plan in place. Services such as Catalyst Corporate’s liquidity stress analysis can help your credit union test your plan by projecting and identifying liquidity shortfalls across various stress scenarios.

Categories: Education & Training, Financial & Auditing, Sales & Service, Strategic Planning & Consulting
Posted by Amanda Atcheson, VP, Marketing and Brand Strategy, CO-OP Financial Services on 9/17/2019

Rapid changes in consumer, fintech and payments trends make this a critical moment for the credit union industry. Staying ahead of the opportunities and challenges requires us all to refresh our thinking and collaborate on strategies that will accelerate growth and transformation.

CO-OP’s complimentary Roadshows provide an ideal opportunity for credit union executives and their teams to escape the routine and spark new ideas in an energizing, supportive environment.

CO-OP will be hosting an upcoming Roadshow on October 10th at the Marriot Marquis in Houston, Texas. If you haven’t attended one of our Roadshows yet this year, here are five great reasons to put one on your calendar:

  1. Download the Latest Industry Updates

CO-OP’s leadership team and industry experts will share insights on the latest consumer and fintech trends impacting your credit union. At the Houston Roadshow, The Filene Research Institute will present their landmark research report, “The Credit Union of the 21st Century” uncovering the future of consumer finance that is being shaped by changes in membership needs, economic challenges and emerging technologies. It will provide a strategic planning guide on how to develop a more proactive and insights-based approach to your organizational strategy.

  1. Take a Master Class on Data Strategy

The right data strategy can help you identify and solve your members’ current challenges and future needs. The Houston Roadshow will feature a 90-minute Master Class on Data Quality, focused on the key questions, terms and learning related to data management and data quality. You’ll have an opportunity to assess your data-centricity, then learn how to build and activate your own data quality plans.

Here’s what one attendee had to say about the Roadshow Master Class:


  1. Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at CO-OP’s 2019-2020 Product Roadmap

Get a closer look at the latest products CO-OP is delivering to credit unions specifically for their digital transformation strategy. You’ll see live demonstrations and sneak peeks of products we are developing, including MyCO-OP, CardNav and the new Developer Portal.


  1. Build Relationships with Industry Peers and CO-OP Executives Over Breakfast and Lunch

Collaboration is the lifeblood of our industry. Connect with other forward-thinking credit union professionals from the Houston area during our free networking breakfast and lunch. Members of CO-OP’s Executive and Product team will also be on hand to talk to you directly about your credit union’s unique challenges and opportunities.

  1. It’s Free!

CO-OP Roadshow attendance, breakfast and lunch, is complimentary for credit union professionals! And since it’s in downtown Houston, it’s easy to bring colleagues or your whole team. This is your opportunity to escape the day-to-day and contemplate the trends and strategies you want to inform and inspire your 2020 planning.

Click here to learn more and register. We look forward to seeing you there!

Categories: Business Partners, Education & Training
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