A Midwest Student Health Collaborative
Beginning with the 2012/13 academic year, MHEC, in collaboration with the Student Health Benefits Advisory Committee (SHBAC) and under a grant from the Lumina Foundation, launched MHECare. MHECare was created in response to increasing costs in student health insurance plans and was designed to cover students in member states that participate in MHEC, WICHE and NEBHE. Approximately 12,000 students currently participate in MHECare for the 2012/13 academic year.
In collaboration with the program administrator, Mercer, an independent consulting firm, MHEC and the SHBAC developed the plan design and selected UnitedHealthcare StudentResources (UHCSR), a national health care carrier, to underwrite the program through a competitive bid process. UHCSR specializes in student health insurance plans, offers UnitedHealthcare’s extensive national PPO
network, and maintains a robust website that administrators and students can access.
MHECare offers both standard and customized PPACA compliant plans, depending on the size of the institution and number of students enrolled. For the standard plans, premiums will be community-rated with UHCSR’s national book of student claim data.
For the customized plans, premiums will be based on historical claims experience for each school, with the protection of being in a large underwriting pool to help mitigate large claim fluctuations.
MHEC has completed its due diligence in selecting Mercer and UHCSR and followed competitive bid practices required by all the states for public institutions. Therefore, a member institution does not need to conduct a formal request for proposal in order to obtain a MHECare quote, saving the institution time and resources.
MHEC will provide general oversight of the program and ensure that it continues to meet its mission — advancing education through cooperation. As the program administrator, Mercer brings its broad understanding of health care to the student program along with compliance resources. They will provide independent underwriting and negotiations to assure that rates are competitive and conduct financial analytics of the claim utilization. They will also assist with student and administrative issues when needed.
Compliance with the PPACA regulations over time are expected to increase student health insurance costs due to the expanded benefits and the potential shift in risk as students make individual decisions about health care coverage. Being in a large underwriting pool can smooth out the impact of catastrophic claims, which are unpredictable, leading to more stable rates with less fluctuation.
To receive a quote, the first step is to obtain the Request for Quote form via Jennifer Dahlquist, MHEC's vice president and chief financial officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MHECare questions may be addressed to Jennifer at 612-677-2762.