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November 2020 edHEALTH newsletter

November 2020 edHEALTH Newsletter

Find out:About the hidden effects of reduced 2020 healthcare costs and bold solutions that can help address the financial challenges aheadWhy educational institutions w...

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Actuaries’ Advice: Don't Leave Money on the Table

Educational institutions with fully insured health insurance arrangements for their employees are leaving money on the table, according to Steven Keshner, Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary with Spring Consulting Group. Moving from a fully insured to a self-insured model creates the lowest possible margin for health plan administration. “By moving from a fully insured to self-insured arrangement, you retain any profits and gain claims transparency so you can bend the cost curve,” said Steven, who leads edHEALTH’s actuarial consulting team.The pandemic has shined a light on the importance of shifting to self-insured arrangements as insurers report record profits due to dramatic drops in healthcare utilization while self-insured purchasers realize lower healthcare spending. A recent Employee Benefit News article authored by the President of MagnaCare concurs: “Self-insured plan arr...

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October 2020 edHEALTH newsletter

Find out why the mental health crisis could get worse and how HR can respond; why edHEALTH chose Vermont for its stop-loss subsidiary, Educators Health Insurance Exchange; and about edHEALTH’s first Thought Leadership seminar on employee engagement trends, best practices, and insights in the October 2020 digital edition of our newsletter.

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Why Vermont? edHEALTH’s Captive Management Leader Explains the Benefits

Inquiring minds want to know: Why is edHEALTH’s stop-loss subsidiary, Educators Health Insurance Exchange, based in Vermont? David White, Vice President for American International Group’s (AIG’s) U.S. Captive Management Services, filled us in. “Vermont was one of the first states in the nation to establish captive-enabling legislation, and as a result, the regulators have deep expertise in the industry,” he said. “Vermont state employees are helpful to the captive industry, offering support, guidance, and a quick turnaround.”Vermont’s responsive and business-friendly philosophy helps promote a captive insurer’s agility. “When a captive wants to make a material change to its business plan, state regulators and captive managers work together to get it done,” said David. New lines of business, changes in investment policy, increased stop-loss limits, and service provider changes all requ...

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August 2020 edHEALTH newsletter

Find out how Salve Regina University has realized strong results and valuable HR support; the 5 reasons healthcare costs could accelerate and how edHEALTH is responding strategically; Boston College's Walking Challenge win; how edHEALTH's social media communication has expanded, and more in the August 2020 digital edition of our newsletter.

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Salve Regina Realizes Strong Results and Valuable HR Support

With compensation and benefits comprising 60% of Salve Regina University’s budget, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, William Hall is always evaluating ways to keep costs in check while continuing to attract and retain top-notch faculty and staff. In the late 1990s he  moved the health insurance benefits from an insured to a self-insured program where the university takes the responsibility for paying medical claims plus stop-loss to protect against high-cost claims. This approach creates the lowest possible administrative costs and means that the employer isn’t paying profits on top of claims. This was a bold move, especially at the time, as some small colleges and universities worry about the higher risk of a self-insured arrangement.“We were already self-insured and had been pleased with that decision,” said Mr. Hall. “However, healthcare costs were stil...

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Boston College Takes Home Walking Challenge Trophy: Event Especially Appreciated in These Difficult Times

In the midst of a difficult time, edHEALTH’s “Walk this Way” Walking Challenge brought some healthy competition for our college and university staff. Fourteen higher education institutions participated in the four-week challenge, and edHEALTH staff joined the competition. Over 450 employees walked almost 108 million steps over the four-week period. Boston College was this year’s winner and earns the edHEALTH Walking Challenge Trophy and a future in-person celebration for their winning scores:49 participantsOver 15.7 million steps walkedAverage of 321,254 steps per walker“This year's edHEALTH Walking Challenge was especially welcome, considering everything we've all been going through,” said Boston College Director of Benefits, Jack Burke. “It gave participants a fun way to keep healthy and compete against other colleges and universities. We look forward to defending our champion title...

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Connect with Us on Facebook

We want to hear from you! As so many of our member school faculty and staff, vendors, partners, and other stakeholders are on Facebook, we’re back on the platform. Collaboration has never been more critical, and social media is one more way to stay in touch. How can we be helpful? Are you experiencing a positive or negative experience with your healthcare benefits? Let us know.edHEALTH is also on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Be sure to engage with us on these platforms too.Be sure to “like us” on Facebook to receive the latest edHEALTH news and insights. We look forward to connecting.

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5 Tips to Keep You Walking After the edHEALTH Challenge

Although the edHEALTH Walking Challenge has ended, it’s an ideal time of year to keep your steps up. Walking is low-cost, healthy, and a mood booster. Your activity tracker can inspire you to continue to make progress. Whether you walk for enjoyment, to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, or lose weight, here are five steps to keep you fit and motivated:Invest in good sneakers – sneakers are the only equipment needed for walking. Be sure your athletic shoes fit properly to avoid blisters and calluses. Look for shoes with a good arch and elevated heel that supports your heel and prevents wobbling.Vary your route – keep your walk interesting by mixing up your where you walk. Include hills in the course to increase your fitness level.Bring along a buddy – walking with a friend can make exercise fun and provide social interaction during these difficult times. Be sure to follow socia...

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June 2020 edHEALTH Newsletter

Find out how COVID-19 is accelerating adoption of telehealth while also affecting claims trends in the June 2020 digital edition of our newsletter.

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Healthcare Costs Have Plummeted; What’s Next?

As the medical community sought to increase hospital capacity to serve COVID-19 patients, reduce the spread of COVID-19, and follow social distancing mandates, medical claims volume dropped precipitously. Many patients elected to forego or delay medical care. Colonoscopies, knee and hip replacements have almost disappeared. A May 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking poll found that nearly half of adults (48%) say they or someone in their household have postponed or skipped medical care due to the coronavirus crisis.edHEALTH claims data reflect these trends. Pre-COVID, medical spending was running 14% ahead of 2019. During the pandemic, spending is down approximately 40% year over year.The KFF poll estimates that as stay-at-home restrictions ease, most (68% of those who delayed care, or 32% of all adults) expect to get the delayed care in the next three months. However, this timing c...

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Telehealth’s Popularity Soars

Employee Engagement Communications Help Spread the WordTelehealth, the remote delivery of healthcare clinical services, has soared in popularity nationally and for edHEALTH member schools. All twenty-three of our member institutions are enrolled in the Teladoc or Doctor on Demand video and telephone telehealth platforms, five more than last year. Four percent of members used telehealth in the first quarter, a significant jump over last year’s less than 0.5%.edHEALTH’s telehealth experience is in line with national trends where there was a 4300% jump in telehealth claims from May 2019 to March 2020, according to a FAIR Health Study. Telehealth offers a safe, convenient, and generally less-expensive way for patients to access healthcare with non-emergency medical services available 24 hours per day. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the temporary closing of on-site services, man...

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Cynthia McGrath Named Marketing Communications Strategist at edHEALTH

Consultant to Organization Joins the TeamedHEALTH officially welcomes Cynthia McGrath as its Marketing Communications Strategist. For the last few years, she has identified opportunities and implemented comprehensive communications campaigns for several healthcare, broker, and education clients, including edHEALTH. Prior to her consulting work, she was the long-time Communications Director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission, the agency that covers state and municipal workers, including UMass and the community college system. In this role, she communicated and advanced innovative healthcare solutions that have subsequently been widely adopted in the industry, such as tiering providers based on quality and cost efficiency, and promoting limited network plans.Over the past year, she rebuilt the website, created a strong social media presence, and other digit...

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Share-it Employee Engagement Communications

edHEALTH provides share-it employee engagement communications to help member school employees navigate and maximize their healthcare benefits. Check out these helpful communication tools:What You Need to Know About Your January 1 Benefit Changes: January 1 2021 Rx Benefit Changes.pdf; Online VersionHow to Save Money on Prescription Drug Costs: How to save money on Rx share-it communication.pdf; Online VersionHealthcare Terms You Need to Know to Understand Your Options: Healthcare Terms - Share-it Communications.pdf; Online versionTips for Navigating COVID-19: Tips for Navigating COVID-19.pdf; Online versionTake advantage of telehealth convenience Tufts Health Plan and Trustmark Health Benefits: Telehealth Tufts Trustmark.pdf; Online version Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare: Telehealth Harvard.pdf; Online versionTelehealth Benefit Details: telehealth benefit details.pdf; Online versionTips f...

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How edHEALTH’s Captive Risk Financing Options Work

Under edHEALTH’s captive, member organizations pick their own self-insured retention level based on their risk tolerance, philosophy, financial status, and experience. In addition to the stop-loss coverage schools automatically receive, they can purchase aggregate stop-loss coverage to further protect their risk. Here’s how the risk financing works:If a school picks a Self-Insured Retention (SIR) of $100,000 per claim:The college will pay any single claim up to $100,000.The Educators Health Insurance Exchange captive will pay the next $1-$650,000 for each individual claim from this school.edHEALTH purchases excess protection from a stop-loss insurer. This insurer reimburses edHEALTH for any part of a particular claim that exceeds $750,000.Members work with the actuaries to pick a Self-Insured Retention amount that balances their claims experience with the risk of paying claims and sto...

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The ABCs of Captive Insurance

Twenty-two colleges, universities, and educational institutions own Educators Health, LLC (edHEALTH), a healthcare collaborative formed to address rising healthcare costs that were straining school budgets. By bypassing commercial insurers and pooling resources, edHEALTH leverages the combined schools’ purchasing power, thereby saving on healthcare costs for faculty, staff, and family members. But, did you know that edHEALTH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Educators Health Insurance Exchange, is a group captive insurer?The captive insurance company’s main purpose is to insure its own risk. By joining colleges and universities together as a single purchaser, the schools gain market leverage. The captive manages its own risk through claims management, innovative programs aimed at loss control, and collaboration with strong business partners.Here are the ABCs on how the Educators Health Excha...

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