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The Boston Globe
Aug 25

Colleges across region team up to cut health care costs

Employees at Worcester Polytechnic Institute saw something in their paystubs this year that they had not seen in many years: smaller deductions for health insurance.

The decline was the result of an initiative that has brought WPI together with 10 other Massachusetts colleges and universities to form their own health insurance company, covering a combined 8,900 employees and their families. The initiative, called Educators Health LLC — or EdHealth — allows the schools to bypass commercial insurers by pooling their risk and money, and paying claims from that pool.

If they can keep employees healthy and insurance claims low, the schools can keep the savings. Since the initiative was launched two years ago, the colleges combined have saved at least $10 million from what they were paying before and limited average insurance premium increases to less than 1 percent, compared with 7 to 9 percent increases for employers nationally.

“Health care benefit costs have gone up significantly in the last decade,” said Bob Shea, senior fellow for finance and campus management at the National Association of College and University Business Officers in Washington. “Colleges and universities are looking for ways to bend that cost curve.”

By Priyanka Dayal McCluskey GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 25, 2015

The Boston Globe

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