The Right Expertise for a Health Science University
A well-respected health science university with over 20 academic programs and 1,400 students, with two campuses in two different states, and an older student population.
Finding a plan that covers the needs of students and dependents while remaining affordable. Health science students typically have higher plan utilization and costs. This university has over 20 programs in two states, and each program runs on a different schedule, with different enrollment and coverage periods.
The University was a client of ours for six years, before a new stakeholder brought on a previous broker relationship to administer their student health plan. The other broker promised lower premium and all-in-one service. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize how complicated administration can be for a student health plan, especially a health science university. They weren’t able to accommodate all the different terms of coverage, and didn’t have the right resources to administer a tight waiver program. As it turns out, the premium, though slightly lower, was not appropriately priced, and therefore the school was looking at an 80% increase the following year.
Additionally, this plan had an insurance requirement (meaning all students were required to either have other insurance coverage or enroll in the school-sponsored plan). The other broker just didn’t have the expertise or the waiver tools, such as an online portal and email notifications, that Ascension offers. As a result, the waiver process didn’t go very smoothly, and several students were allowed to enroll with no insurance coverage.
Many students looked to their state health insurance Exchange for coverage. While this may be a good option for some of the general population, many Exchange plans did not offer first-dollar coverage. The very high out-of-pocket expenses (typically with a $6,600 deductible per person) were just not affordable for the students who needed care and have a small budget for living expenses.
The Solution and Result
Even though they weren’t a client of ours anymore, our solutions experts kept in regular contact with the school and were aware of the difficulties from implementing their new plan. Six months into the academic year, the school reached out and asked us to represent them again, assigning us as Broker of Record. We went out to market and were able to secure several quotes for the upcoming school year, each of them competitive and giving the school and their students exactly the plan they wanted.
They also took advantage of our best-in-class enrollment tools, which were built to accommodate all kinds of college types – whether a client has one set of enrollment dates or 1,000, we can set up a different enrollment and waiver period for each academic program. Each program for this client was able to run on its own schedule and did not have to change dates to accommodate the insurance coverage.
Finally, the school opted to use our waiver services. We worked closely with the school to set up the waiver requirements and our online waiver portal, making it easy for students to waive or enroll in the plan. School administrators can view results in real time, and students receive automatic notifications of their waiver status.
As a result of our continued partnership, we were able to get the school back on track. Over 50% of the student population is now enrolled in the plan. Now they can focus on educating the future health care providers in the country, while we focus on providing their health care.