How One University Built a Best-in-Class Benefits Package to Retain Top Talent and Boost Healthcare Savings

For colleges and universities, attracting the brightest minds in their fields is a critical focus. Looking to provide a competitive benefits package, one Indiana university has partnered with Premise Health since 2012 to bring a comprehensive direct healthcare solution to over 15,000 faculty, staff, and dependents.

The Challenge

The higher education space is an extremely competitive job market, with many of the most reputable universities in the country vying for the same talent. To stand out from the crowd, our client needed to create a best-in-class benefits package to attract and retain top faculty and staff. Additionally, this university has an extra geographical challenge, being located in the middle of the country and far from large metro cities that help attract candidates. The member population, majority faculty, are well educated and have high standards when it comes to on-the-job benefits. Stress levels are often high due to course load, deadlines, and academic publications in addition to teaching duties. Understanding the right way to serve this unique population is key to keeping them happy and healthy.

The Solution

To create a best-in-class benefits package the university partnered with Premise to design a comprehensive direct healthcare solution right on campus. An over 8,000 square-foot wellness center staffed by 26 full time providers was created to offer dedicated support for faculty, staff, and dependents. Healthcare services included primary care, behavioral health, condition management, wellness coaching, occupational healthcare, physical therapy, and a dedicated pharmacy. Giving members convenient access to high-quality care on campus through a third-party provider has been key to helping members feel comfortable addressing their healthcare needs at their workplace.


How one university built a best-in-class benefits package to retain top talent and boost healthcare savings

Member Testimonial 

“I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the pharmacy team. It is so nice to feel welcomed and warmly greeted every time I come in for all of my prescriptions. Words can’t express how comforting it feels not to be judged or made to feel inadequate when it comes to my struggles with my diabetes.”

The Impact of COVID-19 on Educators

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 presented an unexpected new stress in the lives of university faculty and staff. Members were forced to adapt to closed campuses and remote-only teaching for the first time. By Q1 of 2021 anxiety- and stress-related disorders were the top diagnosis group for the wellness center. As a result, the health center increased behavioral health support with wellness coaches and behavioral health providers that put a focus on stress management and resilience techniques.

The Outcome

Members have found a great deal of value in the on campus wellness center and report an excellent net promoter score of 93.9 in July 2021. In addition, the university has experienced low staff turnover along with several accolades as an employer and academic institution. The state-of-the-art wellness center has also become an effective recruiting tool, serving as a showpiece among the higher education industry. Tours of the wellness center are given to new hires along with competing industry professionals when they visit the university for academic conferences.

A byproduct of their employer of choice benefits has been significant cost savings driven by members taking care of their health. In 2019 and 2020, they have generated an average net savings of more than $6M annually through their wellness center and pharmacy. And thanks to increased access to on-the spot occupational health support and guidance, along with intervention from expertly trained occupational health experts, 3,246 lost work days were prevented in 2019 and 2,259 lost work days were prevented in 2020, helping faculty and staff return to health as quickly as possible.

How one university built a best-in-class benefits package to retain top talent and boost healthcare savings

Wellness Center Net Savings

Includes primary care, physical therapy, condition management, wellness coaching, behavioral health, education, nutrition services, and clinical pharmacy.

2019: $2.6M

2020: $2.4M

How one university built a best-in-class benefits package to retain top talent and boost healthcare savings

Pharmacy Net Savings

Convenient on-campus access led to big savings on prescriptions for the university and its members.

2019: $2.6M

2020: $2.4M

*Savings rounded to the nearest whole number.

Perhaps the most important outcome of all is the expansion of their wellness center and partnership with Premise. Members have been enjoying this benefit so much that the university has announced a 4,500 square foot expansion that will be open in time for their 10-year anniversary with Premise in 2022. The new space will include increased space for the onsite pharmacy, additional behavioral health providers and expanded offerings for physical therapy, pediatric services, and occupational health. This expansion will allow the university to stay on the cutting edge of recruiting and continually set the bar when it comes to benefits offerings for higher education faculty and staff.

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