Time – it often seems like there’s not enough of it to get everything we want to do completed. College and university Human Resources departments are especially stretched thin with pandemic-related responsibilities and crises. One area where they don’t have additional worries and tasks is their edHEALTH employee healthcare program. “The amount of work HR departments do when enrolling in – or once they’ve joined – edHEALTH doesn’t increase,” said Cindy Bartelson, edHEALTH’s Operations Manager. “Instead, it’s just different as we assume administrative and troubleshooting tasks and they take on a more strategic role.”
edHEALTH helps employees troubleshoot any issues they may have with a plan administrator, which frees HR staff to take on more interesting work. HR staff can also take part in edHEALTH procurements and wellness initiatives. Each school’s HR team decides their level of involvement and how proactive a role they’d like to take.
Plan Design Involvement
Monthly Plan Design Committee meetings include claim trend projections, industry and program updates, and plan design discussions. “edHEALTH coordinates plan design meetings where we collaborate with our advisor and other member institutions on policy and program initiatives,” said Sharon Woodward, Director of Human Resources for Olin College of Engineering. “These meetings keep us up-to-date on the changing healthcare benefit landscape.”
Thought Leadership Opportunities
Our quarterly Thought Leadership Seminars keep HR staff updated on the latest issues, trends, and best practices in employee healthcare benefits. “edHEALTH provides several forums to keep us updated on what's going on in the industry,” said Jessica Szymczak Roy, Benefits Manager for Regis College “These updates help us get the information we need so we can plan strategically with our advisor.”
Ease of Implementation
When a school joins edHEALTH, we do the heavy lifting to make it easy on HR departments. edHEALTH staff works with the educational institution staff, their advisor, and the plan administrators to help ensure a seamless transition.
“We run disruption reports to identify any employees who could be impacted by the switch to edHEALTH,” said Cindy Bartelson. “In general, we don’t see provider disruptions and there sometimes are prescription drug tier changes. We send customized communications to any affected employees and open enrollment communications templates to the HR staff to make it easy to communicate with their employees about the change.”
Collaboration and Team Spirit Advantages
Member institution HR staff report high satisfaction with the multiple collaboration opportunities and becoming a more valuable resource for their institution. “The multiple edHEALTH strategic venues have allowed us to learn about best practices at other institutions and to share our approach during this unprecedented time,” said Marymichele Delaney, Former Assistant Vice President for Human Resources at Lasell University.
"One of our favorite events of the year is the edHEALTH Walking Challenge where our faculty and staff compete against other member schools,” said Olin College’s Sharon Woodward. “edHEALTH takes care of the administrative aspects of putting this together and our college only needs to encourage employees to participate." Stay tuned for information on the fourth edHEALTH Walk This Way Walking Challenge.
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