Archived Posts


2021 Events

Dec 29, 2021

edHEALTH at NEEBC Program to Discover New Tools to Manage RiskIt will soon be time to begin planning for 2023 employee total rewards strategies. Employers that are considering a self-insured healthcare arrangement, are self-insured and looking for new solutions to control costs, or want to learn about cost containment levers, will want to make time for the New England Employee Benefits Council’s (NEEBC’s) Risk Management Solutions program.At NEEBC’s Healthcare Risk Management Solutions Program, participants:Learned how the healthcare landscape is changing and why costs will continue to escalate.Heard the pros and cons of health funding arrangements.Discovered cutting-edge risk management levers.Found out how these programs work, when they’re beneficial, and how to access them.NEEBC’s Thursday, December 2, 2021 program took place in a hybrid format.  edHEALTH’s Nancy McConaghy describe...

Read Full Post

December 2021 Newsletter

Dec 20, 2021

December 2021

Find out:How two edHEALTH committees gain trend perspectives and develop strategies to drive downWhy healthcare costs are rising and discover 3 risk management levers that unlock savingsWhich role Tracy Hassett has assumed on the VCIA boardWhich employee engagement communications are available to help faculty and staff understand and navigate their healthcare benefitsRead the December 2021 digital edition of our newsletterDownload the December 2021 edHEALTH Newsletter.pdfSubscribe to newsletterPhoto by Kelly Sikkema 

Read Full Post

Committees Gain Trend Perspectives and Explore Strategies to Drive Down Costs

Dec 15, 2021

edHEALTH committees

Plan Design and Finance Committees Welcome New MembersTwo committees are instrumental for monitoring claims and developing solutions – the Finance/Controller and Plan Design (PDC) committees. Member school representatives, business partners, and the edHEALTH team meet regularly to stay on top of what’s happening for edHEALTH and the healthcare industry at large. The Finance/Controller Committee meets quarterly and the PDC meets monthly during the school year.PDC Kicks off New Year on January 11 with Over 10 New Members HR and benefits representatives from each member institution will kick off the new year on January 11 to begin planning benefit design options for 2023. With industry-wide 2022 projected jumps of 5%, the Committee will be evaluating a range of options to control medical and prescription drug spending. The Committee includes over 10 new member school HR representatives a...

Read Full Post

Higher Ed HR Leaders Share 3 Benefits from edHEALTH Coalition That Helped Them Navigate the Pandemic

Nov 10, 2021

Association for Collaborative Leadership

Three of our higher education institution HR leaders shared how the edHEALTH coalition helped them navigate the pandemic at the October Association for Collaborative Leadership (ACL) Conference. This interactive forum provided a roadmap for other higher education consortiums. Higher education was hit particularly hard during the pandemic, and edHEALTH pivoted from a growth and retention trajectory to collaboratively focus on the needs of our member institutions. edHEALTH’s Tracy Hassett led a discussion that focused on three strategies that helped member schools.1) Collaboration Forums for MembersRecognizing that collaboration between colleges and universities could help HR departments learn from one another, we implemented bi-weekly virtual meetings for member schools toward the end of March 2020. Average attendance ranged from 60-65 people, primarily HR and financial staff along wit...

Read Full Post

Almost 580 Faculty and Staff Step it Up for Four-Week Walking Challenge

Aug 9, 2021

2021 edHEALTH Walking Challenge

Clark University Tops Highest Step School RankingsAlmost 580 faculty and staff from 17 colleges, universities, and secondary schools participated in this year’s edHEALTH “Walk This Way” Walking Challenge. This represented a 28.9% increase in participation over last year. Employees achieved remarkable results over the four-week challenge that positively affect their health and wellbeing:148.5M steps walked, 40.5M more than last yearAverage of 260,407 steps walked per walkerWeekly and Grand Prize WinnersFor every week of the walking challenge, participants were eligible for a “Walk This Way” gift card based on steps walked.5,000 steps per day or 35,000 steps per week - 72 employees received a $50 gift card7,500 steps per day / 52,500 step per week - 70 employees received a $75 gift card10,000 steps per day/ 70,000 steps per week - 70 employees received a $100 gift cardThe top stepper fr...

Read Full Post

COVID Vaccine Informational Videos for Your Employees

Aug 4, 2021

COVID Vaccine Videos

Share with Faculty and Staff to Help Overcome Vaccine HesitancyDistribute these helpful videos from the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasers Coalition to help address employee concerns about COVID vaccines.COVID-19 Vaccines: Informed Decision Making - Informed Decision Making VideoCOVID-19 Vaccines: Get the Facts - Get the facts videoCOVID-19 Vaccines: Get the Facts with Spanish Subtitles - Get the facts with Spanish subtitles videoThe History of Vaccines - The History of Vaccines videoThe History of Vaccines with Spanish subtitles - The History of Vaccines with Spanish subtitles videoTrusting Vaccines - Trusting Vaccines videoTrusting Vaccines with Spanish subtitles - Trusting Vaccines with Spanish subtitles video

Read Full Post

edHEALTH Archived Newsletters

Dec 15, 2021


December 2021 | December 2021 edHEALTH Newsletter.pdfHow two edHEALTH committees gain trend perspectives and develop strategies to drive downWhy healthcare costs are rising and discover 3 risk management levers that unlock savingsWhich role Tracy Hassett has assumed on the VCIA boardWhich employee engagement communications are available to help faculty and staff understand and navigate their healthcare benefitsNovember 2021 | November 2021 edHEALTH newsletter.pdfWhy Saint Joseph’s College is a good fit for the captive solutionWhat is Advanced Primary Care and why is it an important healthcare policyWhich carrier Point32Health selected as its national network providerHow edHEALTH helped higher ed HR leaders during the pandemicWhich forums you won’t want to missOctober 2021 | October 2021 edHEALTH newsletter.pdfHow moving to self-insurance and edHEALTH will benefit the College of Holy C...

Read Full Post

Collaborating to Cut Costs in Higher Education: Can It Be Done?

Feb 27, 2017

New England Journal of Higher Education

From the February 27, 2017 issue of the New England Board of Higher Education By A. TRACY HASSETT | February 27, 2017Tuition prices at colleges and universities are high. On that, pretty much everyone—from parents to students to college administrators—can agree. It’s also true that salaries and benefits are the single biggest chunk of every higher education institution’s (HEI) budget. And one of the largest and most difficult costs to contain is group employee health insurance. In fact, health insurance represents on average 4% to 5% of the total operating budgets at most private HEIs in New England. The situation is particularly difficult for smaller New England HEIs because they don’t have the power to bargain with commercial insurers enjoyed by, say, MIT or Harvard. They are forced to fend for themselves in negotiating for benefit packages, whose costs—including all benefits paid f...

Read Full Post

COVID-19 Vaccine Policies Provoke Strong Opinions: 100% of edHEALTH Member Colleges Will Require

Aug 10, 2021

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies

BY CYNTHIA MCGRATH | UPDATED AUGUST 10, 2021Colleges and universities should require COVID-19 vaccines for all students who plan to attend in-person classes, according to an April 14 New York Times editorial. The authors posit that vaccine mandates are the fastest way to return to normalcy by achieving herd immunity – with 70 percent to 85 percent of the population having some form of immunity. Since certain vaccines are already required for school attendance, the COVID-19 vaccine shouldn’t be any different.However, the decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees and/or students isn’t straightforward. From a legal standpoint, requiring vaccines that are under emergency-use authorization is unclear. This could become a moot issue soon as public-health experts expect full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization of the Moderna, Pfizer BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Jans...

Read Full Post

Teetering at the Precipice of Anxiety and Depression Crisis – How Can HR Respond?

Oct 7, 2020

Depression and Anxiety are Skyrocketing

BY CYNTHIA MCGRATH | OCTOBER 7, 2020The Trends and Why They Could Get WorseThe pandemic has upended everyone’s life and the strains are showing in the escalating rates of anxiety and depression. In March, 32% of U.S. adults reported that their mental health had been negatively affected due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. This rate jumped to 53% in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s July Tracking Poll. Adults are also reporting specific negative impacts including:Difficulty sleeping – 36%Difficulty eating – 32%Increases in alcohol or substance use – 12%Worsening chronic conditions – 12%Social isolation, job losses, racial tensions, and balancing work and home responsibilities are taking a toll. People who have lost their jobs or work in healthcare have seen a dramatic increase in mental health disorders. Other at-risk populations include:Older adults age 65 and over who are espec...

Read Full Post

5 Reasons Why 2021 Healthcare Costs will be Volatile: edHEALTH Takes Strategic Approach to Address These Challenges

Aug 25, 2020

5 Reasons Why 2021 Healthcare Costs will be Volatile

BY CYNTHIA MCGRATH | AUGUST 25, 2020Healthcare Cost Trends and ChallengesSince the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in force in March, there’s been a dramatic impact on medical claims:Medical claims have dropped precipitously as provider groups closed or limited their practices in order to ensure capacity for coronavirus patients and patients stayed away to avoid potential exposure. Most elective procedures were canceled or postponed. Provider practices have or are in the process of reopening, but traffic is not back to usual levels;Mental health care has skyrocketed as people face increased anxiety, stress, and social isolation. Much of this care transitioned to telehealth platforms, enabling patients to receive care in the comfort and safety of their home; andPrescription drug costs have largely been unaffected – spending continues to climb.These trends factor into the five r...

Read Full Post

Telemedicine expands care, adds exposures

Nov 4, 2018

Business Insurance

Published in the November 4, 2018 issue of Business InsuranceBy GLORIA GONZALEZ | November 4, 2018Telemedicine helps fill the gap for access to primary doctors and provides healthcare access to busy people. However, the follow up care gap is inconsistent.Telemedicine is growing as the U.S. physician population ages, health care organizations seek new ways to provide care and consumers become as comfortable using technology to receive treatment for conditions ranging from sore throats to drug addiction as they are ordering other products and services off the internet.The rise of telemedicine, however, brings new medical malpractice risks and challenges such as potential regulatory and legal exposures when health care providers are licensed in a state other than the one where their patients live and when telemedicine care is delivered by advance practice clinicians — nurse practitioners...

Read Full Post

Future of Health Care event focuses on keeping employees healthy

Oct 8, 2018

Pittsburgh Business Times

From the October 25, 2018 issue of Pittsburgh Business TimesBy NICK KEPPLER | October 25, 2018“If our people are our greatest asset, the most tremendous asset they bring to our company every day and to your organizations is really their health,” said Lola Criss, director of health and retirement benefits for Trinity Industries, a manufacturing firm that employs more than 9,000. “The ways we are responsible in helping them to manage their health and facilitate their way to managing their own health issues is really critical.”At a forum sponsored by UPMC Health Plan at the Fairmont Pittsburgh on Oct. 25, Criss outlined the importance of health care to the concept of human capital, the value employees bring to their employer. She and two panelists agreed that all of the departments and personnel who handle health-related concerns should integrate their approach and share data to save mon...

Read Full Post

Olin College of Engineering's Stephen Hannabury Named Distinguished Business Officer of the Year by NACUBO

Jul 31, 2017

Olin College of Engineering

Olin College of Engineering | July 31, 2017of Dedham, Mass., has been named the 2017 Distinguished Business Officer of the Year by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). Hannabury is currently the Executive Vice President at Olin College of Engineering and was one of the founding leaders of the college. The highly competitive national award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution over the course of his or her career to the field of business and financial management in higher education.Hannabury’s nomination was based on the formative role he played in founding Olin, his personal mentorship of many staff at Olin and elsewhere, and his leadership in creating innovative business practices for the entire industry through the Boston Consortium for Higher Education and Educators Health (“edHEALTH”).“Olin would not be the suc...

Read Full Post

Christmas comes early at Olin

Dec 5, 2016

The Boston Globe

From the December 5, 2016 issue of the Boston GlobeBy PRIYANKA DAYAL McCLUSKEY | December 5, 2016The faculty and staff at Olin College of Engineering are getting a rare and unexpected holiday treat this month: a break from health insurance.Olin College officials said they’ve made so much progress in curbing health care costs this year that their employees don’t have to pay any premiums in December.For 96 people who work at the small Needham college, that means extra cash they can use for holiday shopping, or anything else.Olin is one of a dozen local colleges and universities that have teamed up to cut health insurance costs. Instead of buying coverage from insurers, they formed their own insurance company, sharing the costs and risks for their combined 10,000 employees.When those employees stay fairly healthy and medical claims are low, the schools save on insurance costs.The consort...

Read Full Post

Institutions that have joined to form health-care consortia are benefiting from cost savings

Oct 12, 2016


From the October 12, 2016 NACUBO Business Officer MagazineBy NANCY MANN JACKSON | October 12, 2016Against the backdrop of mounting criticism over rising higher education costs, college and university business officers are looking for creative ways to cut those costs. For many, the area of escalating employee health­care prices is an ideal place to start. Across the country, several groups of higher education institutions have joined to form health insurance consortia, working together to provide benefits to their employees at a fraction of the cost they once paid individually."With the rising costs of higher education, anything we can do to lower that cost is important," says Tracy Hassett, CEO and president of edHEALTH, a health insurance collaborative launched in 2013 by 11 colleges and universities in the Boston area. "And working together to provide health insurance for employees ...

Read Full Post

College collaboration leads to self-insurance savings

Oct 12, 2015

Worcester Business Journal

From the October 12, 2015 issue of Worcester Business JournalBy SAM BONACCI | OCTOBER 12, 2015One year ago, when Worcester Polytechnic Institute dove into the high-risk, high-reward world of self-insurance, it hoped the gamble would pay off enough to keep tuition in check. Luckily, WPI had friends. WPI joined a new collaborative of colleges and universities – called Educators Health LLC, or edHEALTH – that has allowed small- to mid-sized schools to pool their self-insurance efforts and keep potential outlandish costs in check. The result over that first year was less risk and more savings.Ditching full-coverage from insurance companies is typically a luxury reserved for large companies. Firms like Hopkinton computer giant EMC can customize their coverage while retaining money unspent on claims that would normally be profits for insurance companies. With a large pool of employees, they...

Read Full Post

Who Knew?

Oct 31, 2016

Who Knew?

BY TRACY HASSETT | October 31, 2016When we started edHEALTH three ago, I never imagined I’d be an employee of edHEALTH, that we’d reach so many of our goals so quickly, that we’d have a website, or that I’d be writing my first blog!If you’re reading this blog, you’re either already a member of edHEALTH, you’re an edHEALTH partner, or you’re interested in learning more about edHEALTH.  No matter what your reason is, you’ve come to the right place. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Tracy Hassett and I am the president of edHEALTH.  I have been in this role since September 1, 2015.  Prior to this role, I was vice president of Human Resources at Worcester Polytechnic Institute .  While at WPI, I was one of a number people from several institutions who spent more than three years looking at ways to address the ever-increasing rise of healthcare costs for our institutions, our ...

Read Full Post