Mission, Principles, and History
We help higher education institutions and secondary schools save money on their employee health insurance costs, facilitate collaboration between Human Resources and Finance, and uncover innovative opportunities to improve health and value so colleges, universities, and secondary schools can focus on their mission of educating students.
edHEALTH is the proven employee healthcare solution for higher education and secondary schools. Our guiding principles include:
- Savings - Through our purchasing clout, we consistently negotiate lower costs with less volatility than schools can realize on their own. Person-centric clinical health initiatives help us improve quality of care and reduce costs for the employees who need it most. Our results show that our innovative approach is working. Employee satisfaction, high quality of care, and valuable savings you can pass along to students and families are all benefits of being a member-owner of edHEALTH.
- Ownership - edHEALTH is a member-owned consortium run by and for its educational institutions. As a member, you share in the savings generated by the group. Member-owners control and have a meaningful say in the decision-making process. You'll enjoy direct access to plan administrators and multiple forums for sharing and learning from one another. Collaboration is a key benefit of belonging to edHEALTH.
- Transparency - Health insurance works when employers have the data they need to make informed decisions. edHEALTH’s transparent approach means member educational institutions are apprised of all rate components. And, our collaborative approach enables colleges and universities to compare cost utilization, trends, and best practices with other member schools.
- Innovation - edHEALTH is the innovative healthcare solution for higher education institutions and secondary schools along with their faculty, staff, and family members. Our self-insured healthcare offerings are tailored to meet the needs of our members. Through data analysis, advanced, person-centric programs, and decision support, we help educational institutions select programs that meet their needs while containing rising healthcare costs.
In the mid-2000s, healthcare costs started to escalate at unsustainable rates, far outpacing wages and inflation. Colleges and universities were concerned about the impact faculty and staff healthcare costs were having on their core mission of providing quality education to students. In late 2008, The Boston Consortium, which brings together Boston area colleges and universities to develop and implement cost saving and quality improvement ideas, gathered a group of chief financial and chief HR officers to find out how to slow health insurance cost increases.
The group determined that its goals for this program included:
- Create savings through a more efficient financial structure and group purchasing power
- Multi-institution participation to minimize risk and corresponding cost volatility
A Feasibility Study evaluated a number of funding options, and after numerous meetings, the group, which called itself Co-HIP (Co-sourced Health Insurance Program), determined that a captive insurer domiciled in Vermont would provide the best option. The Captive was expected to reduce health insurance premiums by 4-6% annually. Other benefits included:
- Ease and speed of implementation
- Fewer reporting and regulatory requirements
- Plan design flexibility
- Efficiencies and predictability of pooled claims
- Large group leverage for pricing and program negotiations
- Service and control managed by the member institutions
Representatives from 24 area colleges, universities, and the Boston Consortium formed an advisory group, agreed to contribute startup funds, and established the following founding principles, the same ones that edHEALTH adheres to today:
Over the years, the Board was winnowed down to represent a smaller cross-section of member colleges and universities as well as two non-members who represent management and the Vermont Captive.
January 2012 – edHEALTH selects Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare and Tufts Health Plan as its medical administrators and OptumRx as its pharmacy benefit manager.
July 10, 2012 – Educators Health, LLC (edHEALTH) becomes a legal entity.
April 18, 2013 – The State of Vermont licenses the edHEALTH Captive, Educators Health Insurance Exchange.
The edHEALTH parent company oversees the overall program, consisting of:
- A group of self-insured health plans with individually set self-insured retention attachment points
- A pooled stop-loss insurance program administered by a Vermont Reciprocal Captive.
July 1, 2013 – edHEALTH launched with six initial members: Boston College, Lasell College, Olin College of Engineering, Regis College, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College
January 1, 2014 – Three additional members join (Berklee College of Music, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute) bringing edHEALTH to approximately 7,000 covered employees with $100 million of annual premiums.
January 1, 2015 – Two additional members join (Brandeis College and Emerson College) bringing edHEALTH to 8,500 covered employees.
April 2015 – 24 colleges, universities, and The Boston Consortium are paid back their $50,000 startup contributions, a year earlier than projected.
January 2019 – A nationwide third-party administrator is selected, enabling geographic expansion.
June 17, 2019 – $2 million in dividends paid to member institutions as a result of a surplus in the Captive.
July 1, 2019 – Four charter schools enroll in edHEALTH. In addition to the early adopters, they join Salve Regina, Bentley, Suffolk, Clark, and Lesley universities.
2020 – Three additional colleges join edHEALTH, including Sarah Lawrence College, our first New York school, and Bennington College, our first Vermont college. The total number of participating schools is now 23 with an estimated employee count of 13,500.
January 2022 – Two colleges, College of the Holy Cross and Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, join edHEALTH. This adds Maine as another New England state with an edHEALTH school and brings edHEALTH to a total of 25 participating schools to date.
Looking Toward the Future
edHEALTH is poised for growth. Our healthcare rates are beating the rising healthcare cost curve with a nine-year average increase of 3.6% compared with the industry average of 7.8%.
We’ve added some innovative clinical intervention programs to improve quality and control rising claims costs. Through our data vendor, we are gaining insights into our claims pain points, which enables us to develop proactive strategies. And, we’re expanding our website and social media footprint to improve our communications efforts.
It’s been just over 16 years since conversations began on how to control rising healthcare costs. We appreciate your interest in the resulting edHEALTH solution.