Archived Posts


Walking Challenge Underway

Jun 24

Post your walking pics to Twitter

Share Your Video Clips and PhotosedHEALTH’s popular Walking Challenge, Walk This Way to a Healthier You, is back for its third year. From June 8 through July 4, 2020, this fun activity provides a healthy competition between edHEALTH’s member colleges, universities, and other educational institutions and their faculty and staff. Each week, employees from each participating school have the opportunity to win gifts based on their steps walked. We’ll announce the grand prize winners and the member school winner – who receives the coveted edHEALTH Walking Challenge trophy and a fall ice cream social – by August. Olin College of Engineering, the edHEALTH staff, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute are currently vying for first place, but with two weeks to go, there’s still an opportunity for another team to pull ahead.Share How You’re Doing for the Chance to Win Additional Prizes!We want to ...

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May 2020 edHEALTH Newsletter

May 26

May flowers

edHEALTH is responding to the coronavirus crisis through increased collaboration and communication. Find out how sharing best practices is helping member institutions respond to the challenges COVID-19-related shutdowns and other edHEALTH news in the May 2020 digital edition of our newsletter.

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First Vermont Institution to Join edHEALTH - Finds Move will Benefit Faculty, Staff, and College

May 20

Bennington College Joins edHEALTH

Bennington College became familiar with edHEALTH six years ago when it began exploring alternative healthcare models to the insured go-it-alone common practice. Because the consortium approach was a new concept, the school took a wait and see approach while continuing to keep an eye on edHEALTH’s progress. In 2019, the college requested a rate quote and met with edHEALTH staff to see whether joining would be an appropriate long-term strategy. They found that there would be minimal provider and benefit disruption to faculty and staff while also saving employees and the college money. As a result of their research, the college decided to join edHEALTH effective July 1, 2020.“The college wanted to think creatively about how to support the college’s mission while offering faculty and staff a competitive benefits package,” said Heather Faley, Director of Human Resources. “The edHEALTH mode...

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Walk This Way to a Healthier You Returns June 8

May 20

Walking Challenge

Get ready to step it up – edHEALTH’s popular “Walk This Way to a Healthier You” challenge returns on Monday, June 8. A team from each participating school will compete for the edHEALTH walking challenge trophy and end-of-contest ice cream celebration.Team employees strive for 10,000 steps per day. We’ll send tips for meeting and exceeding this goal. Last year, over 750 employees participated, walking a total of 200 million steps over the four-week competition. This year’s challenge ends on Saturday, July 4.Weekly and Grand Prizes: For every week of the walking challenge, two winners from each school will receive a “Walk ThisWay” local gift card valued at $50 or $100, depending on steps walked. Participants walking an average of 5,000 steps per day or 35,000 steps per weekare eligible for the $50 gift card; those walking an average of 10,000 steps perday/ 70,000 steps per week are elig...

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Population Health Vendor Providing Free COVID-19 Assistance

May 12

COVID19 support

edHEALTH’s population health and clinical assistance partner is offering free assistance to all member school employees, even if a school is not enrolled in the program. Employees and covered dependents can call the nurse hotline to get answers to COVID-19 related concerns:Questions about COVID-19Resources specific to a patient’s or family member’s COVID-19Helping with the adjustment to working from homeSupporting parents with children home from schoolProviding strategies for employees with elderly parents or relatives feeling isolatedOffering resources for stress and anxietyLet your employees know about this free resource by distributing COVID-19 Assistance flyer 2020.pdf.

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April 2020 edHEALTH News

Apr 15

April News

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major effect on higher education institutions and healthcare. Find out how edHEALTH is responding in the April 2020 digital edition of our newsletter.

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edHEALTH’s Population Health Program Provides Critical Resource During COVID-19

Apr 9

Population Health

The COVID-19 crisis is driving demand for help from edHEALTH’s population health vendor. Under this program, the highest risk, highest cost employees and their covered families receive a coordinated care approach that supports their needs. With a focus on the 5% of the population that comprises 53% of claims, these patients are at high risk for COVID-19.  COVID-19 Risk FactorsAccording to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID-19 risk factors include:Age 65 or overLung risk (e.g., asthma; COPD; tracheostomy)Heart risk (e.g., Coronary Artery Disease; Pulmonary Hypertension)Diabetes risk (Type I or Type II)Neurological risk (e.g., Cystic Fibrosis; Muscular Dystrophy; Parkinson’s Disease)Immune system risk (e.g., organ or bone marrow transplant; Systemic Lupus)Cancer risk (e.g., malignant neoplasms; Leukemia)Liver risk (e.g., End Stage Renal Disease; Hypertensive Chronic Kidney Disease)A...

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Tips for Navigating Coronavirus and Your Healthcare Benefits

Mar 17

COVID-19 coronavirus

What is COVID-19?COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The virus enters the body through the nose, mouth or eyes, and causes a respiratory (lung) infection. Here are tips to help you navigate these stressful times.Find out tips for avoiding infectionRecognize the symptoms of COVID-19 The following symptoms may appear two-14 days after exposure to COVID-19:FeverCoughShortness of breathCOVID-19 symptoms differ from colds, the seasonal flu and allergies.Find out what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms - this includes links to telehealth benefit detailsIf You’re Stressed, Seek HelpThe COVID-19 pandemic is causing panic, stress, and uncertainty. It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the current environment, and many people are feeling the added stress of financial uncertainty. Your telehealth benefits offer a con...

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What to Do if You Have Symptoms of COVID-19

Mar 17

Access telehealth benefits if you are feeling sick

For the benefit of all, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, access your telehealth benefits to see whether you need screening. By using a phone or computer, you’ll receive guidance about whether you need to be seen or tested while freeing up other clinicians to deal with the most severe cases in person. With telehealth:You can receive quality medical care without leaving your home. Virtual care is a highly effective method to evaluate and treat symptoms while minimizing exposure to potentially contagious viruses.If you think you are infected, telehealth doctors can answer questions about the disease, evaluate your risk, and advise you on next steps. Telemedicine doctors are trained on the latest protocols for local and national notification, testing, and management.If you are not already infected, you increase your risk of catching the disease by visiting your doctor, urgent care, or emerg...

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Tips for Avoiding COVID-19

Mar 17

Wash your hands

Here are tips for avoiding contracting COVID-19:Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Hum the complete “Happy Birthday” song to be sure you’ve washed thoroughly. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.Wear a mask in any public area.Stay away from crowded areas. Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and another person.Cover your cough in your elbow, not your hand, if you don’t have a tissue. These social distancing protocols – putting distance between yourself and other people – can help prevent the spread of this contagious disease. By doing so, you’ll help preserve the healthcare system’s capacity to help those who are sick. Stay home if you feel sick to help you recover and prevent spread of your illness. For indivi...

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February 2020 edHEALTH Newsletter

Feb 19

February 2020 News

Find out edHEALTH news and insights in the February 2020 digital edition of our newsletter.

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Happy New Year Member Schools!

Jan 16

Year end wrapup

We have much to celebrate as this past year brought so much good news for edHEALTH and our member/owner schools. We now have 22 educational institutions and have members in three states. In July, we welcomed our first charter schools:Brooke Charter SchoolExcel Academy Charter SchoolsKIPP MA Public Charter SchoolsMatch Charter Public SchoolEffective January 1, 2020, two colleges joined our growing roster of member institutions:Dean CollegeSarah Lawrence College – our first New York school!Please join me in welcoming our newest members and I look forward to collaborating with you all as edHEALTH continues to grow.The numbers are in! Here are our latest counts:13,500 employee participants30,000 total participantsTotal premium equivalents for 2020: $225MAlthough we had some high-cost claims that impacted the 2020 renewal rates, our average overall renewals over time remain well below indu...

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December 2019 edHEALTH Newsletter

Dec 18

Happy December

Find out edHEALTH news and insights in the December 2019 digital edition of our newsletter.

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November 2019 edHEALTH Newsletter

Nov 25

November News

Find out edHEALTH news and insights in the November 2019 digital edition of our newsletter.

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Welcome New Member Schools

Nov 20

Welcome to our New Members

Please extend a warm welcome to the following schools that are joining edHEALTH’s collaboration of colleges, universities, private and charter schools, effective January 1, 2020:Dean College: Located in Franklin, Massachusetts, Dean College offers associates and bachelor’s degrees and has a student enrollment of 1,300.Sarah Lawrence College: Located in Bronxville, New York, Sarah Lawrence is edHEALTH’s first New York-based member school. A private, liberal arts college, Sarah Lawrence’s student enrollment is nearly 1,400.Welcome Dean and Sarah Lawrence!

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edHEALTH Plan Administrators Changing Their Names in 2020

Nov 20

Company name change

Two of edHEALTH’s plan administrators are changing their names in 2020:CoreSource, our national healthcare administrator, is changing its name to Trustmark Health Benefits effective January 1, 2020. The company is rebranding to better tie the health division’s name with the parent company, Trustmark Mutual Holding Company. There will be no other changes. Trustmark Health Benefits will continue to use a customized approach to determine which of their 60 carrier- and provider-owned networks best meet the needs of our new member schools.BriovaRx, our specialty pharmacy vendor, is changing its name to Optum® Specialty Pharmacy in 2020. They have begun rolling out this change, which will continue into 2020. The new name is in keeping with the Optum parent company name. There will be no changes for existing BriovaRx members to benefits, services, or the phone number. Both of the following w...

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Population Health Program Tackles High Cost Claims and Gaps in Care

Nov 20

Population Health Care Coordination

In support of our goals of providing quality healthcare solutions at affordable costs, edHEALTH launched an innovative population health program in the spring. Did you know that 50% of edHEALTH’s claims come from just 5% of the population? The KnovaSolutions® Clinical Prevention Service focuses on those who need the most help. KnovaSolutions’ clinical team focuses on the highest risk, highest cost employees and their families with a holistic approach to support their needs.Privacy ProtectedThis program ensures privacy while using predictive modeling to identify those in need of support early in their care journey. Personal health data is secure; KnovaSolutions® doesn’t share it with member schools or edHEALTH. Additionally, they store all data consistent with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy standards.Potential Reduction in High Cost ClaimsTh...

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October edHEALTH news

Oct 17

October Newsletter

Find out edHEALTH news and insights in the October 2019 digital edition of our newsletter. Check out our October 2019 Digital Digest!

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Prevalence of Diabetes Growing: Chronic, Costly, and Deadly Disease Takes Toll on Patients and Payers

Oct 15

Diabetes is a costly and chronic disease

If you attended edHEALTH’s Annual Meeting, you saw the visual impact of diabetes in the United States. The prevalence has skyrocketed between 1990s and today, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Today:Diabetes prevalence: An estimated 30.3 million people have diabetes (9.4 percent of the U.S. population – an increase of 44% since 1998)Pre-diabetes prevalence: An estimated 84.1 million people (more than 1 out of 3 adults) have pre-diabetes: 9 out of 10 don’t know they have it.Diabetes, which occurs when blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. The main types of diabetes are type 1 (also called Juvenile Diabetes where the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas), type 2 (as well as prediabetes where cells become resistant to the action of insulin), and gestational (in pregnancy, too little glucose gets into the mother’s cel...

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Wentworth Takes Home the Walking Challenge Prize

Sep 30

Cindy Bartelson presents Walking Challenge Trophy to WIT's Margaret Card

This year’s “Walk This Way Walking Challenge” was an overwhelming success. Fifteen member colleges and universities participated in the four-week challenge. Over 750 employees walked more than 200 million steps over the four-week period. Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) brought home the edHEALTH walking trophy and enjoyed an ice cream social for their winning scores:47 participantsOver 14.6 million steps walkedAverage of 311,900 steps per walkerMargaret Card, WIT’s HR Director, accepted the trophy on the School’s behalf. “Our employees relished competing against their fellow schools for the grand prize,” said Margaret. “It was a fun way to encourage healthy habits and the edHEALTH ice cream social was a lot of fun.”Each week during the challenge, the top 5,000 and 10,000 step walkers from each school won a themed gift basket: nutrition, exercise, relaxation, and mindfulness. Th...

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edHEALTH President Tracy Hassett to Join VCIA Board

Sep 16

edHEALTH President Tracy Hassett

VCIA is pleased to announce the addition of two new captive professionals to its Board of Directors.  Joining the VCIA Board in October 2019, both have been active in the captive industry for years.                        Tracy Hassett, SPHR, is the President and CEO of edHEALTH, the member-owned healthcare collaborative for 20 colleges, universities, and charter schools. She also is the President and CEO of Educators Health Exchange, edHEALTH's medical stop loss captive. Prior to edHEALTH, Ms. Hassett worked for 17 years at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in a variety of HR roles. She rose through the ranks to Vice President of Human Resources, and was the first person to hold this position. While Ms. Hassett was working at WPI, she joined Boston Consortium higher education finance executives who were looking for a solution to the healthcare cost conundrum. WPI was a founding member ...

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August edHEALTH News

Aug 22


Find out edHEALTH news and insights in the first digital edition of our newsletter. Check out our August Digital Digest!

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edHEALTH is Beating the Healthcare Cost Curve

Aug 6

EdHEALTH is beating the healthcare cost curve

edHEALTH is poised for growth. Our healthcare rates are beating the rising healthcare cost curve:Five year average increase is 1.7% compared with the industry average of 8.1%Last year we actually had an average 2.9% decrease in rates!In January 2019, we selected a coast-to-coast healthcare administrator so that we can expand nationally. We’ve added some innovative population health programs to improve quality and control costs. And, we’re expanding our website and social media footprint to improve our communications efforts.

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New Benefits Administrator Expands edHEALTH Reach Nationally

Jul 22

CoreSource logo

edHEALTH is now available throughout the country. For 2019, we entered into an agreement with Trustmark Health Benefits, a national employee benefits company. The company has access to over 60 carrier-owned and provider-sponsored networks. These include Aetna, Cigna, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield of New York, Anthem Blue Cross of California, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia.Trustmark Health Benefits uses a customized approach to determine which networks best meets the needs of new clients. They evaluate network panel scope, how strongly the network and types of care align with the client’s utilization patterns, and financial value. These findings are provided to the new member organization, edHEALTH, and Spring Consulting for final network determination.This same customized approach is used for plan design. Like all member organizations, the school determines its plan type of...

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Telehealth Offers Convenience for Non-Emergencies, Skin Concerns, and Behavioral Health - Download the App Today

Jul 22


Take Advantage of a Telehealth visit with a credentialed doctor specializing in internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, dermatology, psychology, or psychiatry. A virtual care visit enables you to see a provider through real-time, Skype-like technology using a smartphone, tablet, or computer that has a microphone and webcam. Benefits include:Immediate access to doctors 24 hours a day, 365 days a yearNo need to travel from work or homeSecure and private two-way video chats with U.S. board-certified doctors and therapistsPrescriptions sent to your drug store, if needed$25 copay/visitConsider taking advantage of telemedicine benefits if you have any of the following non-emergency needs:AllergiesUpper respiratory infectionFluEaracheSkin rashUrinary tract infectionConjunctivitisSinus infectionUpset stomachBehavioral HealthTelehealth behavioral health benefits are confidential and co...

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Get to Know Cindy Bartelson, edHEALTH’s Operations Whiz

Jul 22

Cindy Bartelson photo

If you’re a current edHEALTH member school, you’ve probably worked with Cindy Bartelson, edHEALTH’s Operations Manager. Cindy is the “go to” person for edHEALTH’s day-to-day activities:Troubleshooting health insurance-related issuesHR employee orientationPlan Design Committee logisticsNew group implementationTwo years ago, Cindy joined edHEALTH. She previously worked for 15 years in the HR Department at member school Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Cindy’s skills and experience make her uniquely qualified to running edHEALTH’s operations. She’s especially gratified to help member schools troubleshoot health-insurance related issues. “In HR there are a lot of urgent personnel-related issues,” says Cindy. “The school HR staff appreciates having one less item on their plates. And, through investigating member health insurance issues, I identify and find resolutions for larger conc...

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New Population Health Initiative Off to Strong Start

Jul 22

KnovaSolutions logo

It was a pleasure to meet with all of you to discuss the new edHEALTH population health initiative, KnovaSolutions® Clinical Prevention Service. We’ve already heard from many of you that you want to participate in the program that targets the 5% of your population that comprises over 50% of claim costs.  It’s a triple-win solution:1) Potential Reduction in High-Cost ClaimsThe program’s clinical staff provides personalized care for high-risk, high-cost employees and covered dependents. Through phone and secure email, participants receive support for medical decisions. Information, education, and decision support helps decrease unnecessary costs and utilization.2) Improves Healthcare Quality and Employee Satisfaction24/7 access to assistance: Questions about diagnosis, treatments, tests, and medicationsSupport for making lifestyle changesMedication review assistanceWork/life balance sup...

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Award-Winning Optum Rx Program Effectively Tackles Opioid Abuse

Jul 22

Prescription opioid bottles

Opioid abuse is a national epidemic: every 13 minutes there is an opioid-related death. Between 2015 and 2016 drug overdoses increased 21%, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Our prescription drug vendor, OptumRx, uses an innovative opioid management program that helps members and patients balance the need for powerful medications with the risk of abuse and misuse.  Targeted drugs include Oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, hydromorphone, codeine, fentanyl, methadone, tramadol, OxyContin, Percocet, Lorcet, and Vicodin. The program takes a multi-pronged approach to help tackle abuse:Prevention and education: OptumRx provides education to patients and providers about the risks of opioids. Home delivery patients who fill opioid prescriptions through mail order receive education and promotion of proper leftover drug disposal. The drugs our dispensed with label and bottle cap warn...

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2019 Annual Meeting

Jul 9

2019 edHEALTH Annual Meeting

There was lots to celebrate at this year's Annual Meeting: 20 members before 2020; beating healthcare cost trends; financial performance; and $2 million in dividend distributions.Watch our presentation video here

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Nancy McConaghy Named Business Development Executive at edHEALTH

Jul 2

Photo of Nancy McConaghy

Nancy McConaghy Named Business Development Executive at edHEALTHLong-time Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Account Executive Brings Unique Expertise to the Role NORTHBRIDGE, MA, June 20, 2019 - edHEALTH, the member-owned healthcare purchasing collaborative for colleges, universities, private and charter schools, welcomed Nancy McConaghy, former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Senior Account Executive, as its Business Development Executive. In this new role, McConaghy will be responsible for membership growth and retention.McConaghy was the account representative for edHEALTH’s Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Administrator and helped to ensure member satisfaction for the colleges, universities, and their employees enrolled in the Harvard Pilgrim health plan option. She served in that capacity since edHEALTH’s inception six years ago. With over 25 years of experience in account management for major ...

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April 2019 Newsletter

Apr 12

edHEALTH April 2019 newsletter

Read the April 2019 edHEALTH newsletter to find out how we're beating the healthcare cost curve, adding members, and expanding nationally. Get to know our Operations Whiz.  You'll also find out how to join edHEALTH, and learn about opioid management, population health, and telehealth programs. Get ready to celebrate at our Annual Meeting, and get your sneakers ready to compete against fellow colleges and universities with our Walking Challenge.

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2019 January Update from edHEALTH

Jan 29

January 2019 update

Happy New Year 2019 from edHEALTH.pdfHere's the January 2019 edHEALTH update including:OverviewMember colleges and universitiesResults

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July Newsletter 2018

Aug 6

July 2018 edHEALTH News

July_2018_edHEALTH_newsletter.pdf  In this issue:Announcement of national relationship with CoreSourceNew data warehouseFinancial resultsOptum Rx initiativesHarvard Pilgrim Healthcare tools

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November Newsletter 2017

Nov 28

November 2017 newsletter

edHEALTH-November -2017 Newsletter.pdf In this issue:New membersCaptive financial results updatePrescription drug formulary optionsTelemedicineTufts Health Plan addiction servicesHarvard Pilgrim appsInterview with edHEALTH's Chair, Stephen Hannabury

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July Newsletter 2016

Jul 11

July 2016 edHEALTH newsletter

Here's edHEALTH's July 2016 newsletterThe edHEALTH News vol 5 iss 2 july 2016.pdf

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January Newsletter 2016

Jan 4

Latest news January 2016

The January 2016 edHEALTH newsletterThe edHealth Newsletter Volume V

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