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Saint Joseph's College of Maine
First Maine School Joins edHEALTH: Saint Joseph's College is a Good Fit for Captive Solution
Nov 11

edHEALTH welcomes its first Maine educational institution when Saint Joseph’s College of Maine joins effective January 1, 2022. The school’s needs for faculty and staff healthcare benefits were a good fit for edHEALTH’s captive model. “Our college was attracted to edHEALTH because you have captured a balance of characteristics that echo the way we view ourselves,” said Kristine Avery, Associate Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer for Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

“edHEALTH is regionally focused but diverse,” said Kristine. “Its membership is higher education-focused but offers a range of sizes and types of colleges and universities. And the captive model is innovative but also lower risk. The ownership embedded in this model — that any savings goes back to the institutional owners, and that each member can make its own set of plan choices and stop-loss levels based on their unique position in the market — was appealing. We’re confident that these qualities fit with our mission and thriving future.”

Saint Joseph’s had enjoyed a long and productive relationship with its prior health insurance provider, but the unpredictable nature of annual cost increases made budgeting difficult for the school and its faculty and staff. “Saint Joseph’s is in the midst of a deep transformation, so stable resources, talent, and budgeting will be critical to the success of our reimagined identity,” said Kristine. “edHEALTH’s captive model will pay dividends both literally and figuratively as a strong platform for taking care of our employees in this moment of change.”

Cross Insurance, the college’s broker, began exploring the edHEALTH option in 2017. The school considered joining a MEWA (Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement) where a group of employers pool their contributions in a self-contributing benefits plan for their employees, while also evaluating the edHEALTH captive option. “We wanted to review all options available that could offer greater stability to Saint Joseph’s healthcare coverage and insurance costs, along with an innovative platform that closely aligned with the College’s orientation,” said Lisa Boucher, Vice President of Benefits, Cross Benefit Solutions. The pandemic put the process on pause, but also increased the school’s urgency with this year’s renewal once normalcy began to return.

“We are thrilled to welcome Saint Joseph’s College as our first Maine and 25th educational institution,” said Tracy Hassett, edHEALTH’s president and CEO. “Their size of approximately 2,000 students makes them a Goldilocks fit for edHEALTH – big enough to benefit from self-insurance and small enough to benefit from our pooled purchasing power.”

With a tight turnaround for joining effective January 1, it’s taken a village to ensure a smooth transition for the school and its employees. “Our strong and long-standing partnership with our advisor and the newly acquired relationship with the team at edHEALTH have set us up for success with open enrollment and the full implementation of this program,” said Kristine. “We look forward to collaborating with our peer institutions in the edHEALTH Plan Design and the Finance committees, and potentially engaging as board members as we look to the future as a long-standing Captive owner.”

Located along the shoreline of Sebago Lake, the Sisters of Mercy founded Saint Joseph's College of Maine to foster a learning community that grows students into leaders who sustain their communities. The school offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs to approximately 2,000 learners on campus and online. The college nurtures intellectual, social, and spiritual growth in the Catholic tradition, helping students of all ages and faiths discover the power of education enriched by a legacy of compassion and justice.

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