Case Study: Great Falls Rescue Mission

great falls rescue mission, logo
Industry Nonprofit
Location Great Falls, Montana
Website gfrm.org

In 2016, Jeremy Trebas, the Controller at Great Falls Rescue Mission, grew concerned about recent changes in their health care plan.

When the group health insurance plan the organization provided its employees grew too expensive, they made the change to a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) with PeopleKeep.

Now, they’re still able to offer a benefit their employees appreciate while also staying in budget.

Jeremy Trebas
“Without the cost savings we get with this option, we wouldn't be able to offer a health benefit.”

Jeremy Trebas

Executive Controller

38

full-time employees

5

minutes per month

$91,827.65

projected annual tax savings

 “Without the cost savings we get with this option, we wouldn't be able to offer a health benefit.”

The organization

Great Falls Rescue Mission opened its doors in 1963. Nearly 60 years later, the nonprofit Christian organization boasts three shelters in the Great Falls downtown area. The mission serves 17 counties, going north to the Canadian border and east to North Dakota. Among the three shelters, there’s one shelter for men, one for women, and one for families.  With lunch and dinner available to the public, around 400 total meals are served each day. 

In addition to offering free meals, the mission provides overnight emergency shelter, substance abuse assistance, and domestic violence assistance, as well as a volunteer medical clinic. This helps connect homeless individuals and families with a general practice doctor,  a chiropractor, eye care, and dental services.

The challenge

When Jeremy Trebas, Great Falls Rescue Mission Controller, first started with the organization they were offering group health insurance to their full-time employees. However, in 2016, while tracking changes in the health care sector, Jeremy grew concerned that group insurance premiums would increase. Once that fear became a reality, he started looking for other options.

“We had been pretty generous with the health benefit we offered and we wanted to continue to be generous. That was not possible for us as an organization when our rates jumped 54% in one year.”

The solution

After a quick online search,  Jeremy found PeopleKeep. He scheduled a call with a Personalized Benefits Advisor that was able to explain how a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) with PeopleKeep works.

As an alternative to group health insurance, an HRA would allow Jeremy to stay within his budget but continue to offer a health benefit that employees would appreciate. Once all of his questions were answered, he decided to take the plunge

The results

Great Falls Rescue Mission signed up with PeopleKeep in May 2017. Since then, they’ve continued to offer their employees a health benefit while keeping overhead down. Instead of paying for a percentage of their employees’ group insurance premiums, they can offer a monthly allowance. The allowance can be used to pay for insurance premiums and out of pocket medical expenses. 

Most employees are able to get their entire premium covered and have additional allowance to cover things like co-pays, prescriptions, dental care, and vision services. That’s one of the biggest positives, according to Jeremy. With the group insurance plan, only medical expenses were covered. Now, some employees are getting treatments they couldn’t before.

“Employees are really happy with the benefit and the flexibility it allows.” 

Not only has PeopleKeep helped Great Falls Rescue Mission provide an affordable and valuable benefit, but administering the benefit has been simple as well. 

“The employee’s submit their requests online and all I have to do is click a button. I add the reimbursement to their paycheck and I’m done." 

In Jeremy’s experience, other nonprofits struggle to offer valuable benefits. If they offer anything, it usually only covers the employee, not their family. PeopleKeep allows the Great Falls Rescue Mission to take care of their employees and their families. Their ability to do so, sets the organization apart and helps them to retain their employees.

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