Elizabethtown College Case Study

Industry: Higher Education


Elizabethtown College is a private graduate and undergraduate university providing health insurance to 394 active employees in addition to retirees. Elizabethtown was struggling to remain competitive with other Pennsylvania colleges and universities while continuing to offer family friendly benefits in a fully-insured model with significant increases imposed at each renewal.


In 2012, Elizabethtown College joined the Shared Services Health Plan Trust, while maintaining their current benefits and health insurance carrier.  The Shared Services Health Plan Trust is a self-funded consortium which has received an exemption from the state to allow the colleges and universities in the program to share risk and funds. This exemption allows the consortium to self-fund a portion of coverage that otherwise would have been covered by the stop-loss carrier, providing greater savings to its members.


In the first 18 months of the program, Elizabethtown College built a surplus of over $900,000.  Consortium members may apply their prior year(s) surplus to their current claims invoices. Their member monthly cost (fixed costs plus claims paid) dropped over 16% from their fully-insured rate the prior year. In the following 12 months, the college more than doubled their surplus. In their first 47 months in the program, Elizabethtown College has built a surplus just under $4 million, which has helped reduce overall costs while preserving competitive benefits for their employees.

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