EHA News

EHA News

Educators Health Alliance Approves 2.96% Increase in Rates

There will be an overall increase of 2.96 percent in premiums next year for the medical and dental insurance plans used by nearly every Nebraska school district, following action by the Educators Health Alliance (EHA), a consortium of three statewide public school groups that manages the plan.  Medical insurance rates for active employees will increase 3.06 percent. Medical insurance rates for retirees will increase by 4.95 percent as, for the first time, special services fees will be included in the premium rates for retirees.  Dental rates for all employees and retirees will remain unchanged from the 2020-21 rate level.

When the 2021-2022 plan year begins next Sept. 1, it will mark the 19th consecutive rate increase of less than 10 percent.  The average annual increase over the past ten years has been 4.1 percent. 

“The COVID pandemic has resulted in significant disruption for our members,” said Sheri Jablonski, EHA Board Chair.  “It has also made it difficult to set rates for the 2021-22 plan year. Nevertheless, we are pleased we’ve been able to maintain our streak of nearly 20 years without a double digit increase in rates and, especially, to average just over 4 percent for the last decade.”

The only benefit change for the 2021-22 contract year is an enhancement for the non-HSA PPO plans.  Member cost sharing for visits to counselors and psychiatrists will be eliminated. 

“We believe it is important, particularly in these stressful times, to encourage our members to seek counseling if they feel anxious or overwhelmed and we did not want the benefit plan to discourage office visits by having the deductible applied first,” said Maddie Fennell, executive director of Nebraska State Education Association.  “We are also encouraging all school districts and EHA members to follow CDC guidelines related to COVID in order to continue to mitigate claims and keep future rate increases low.”

An alternate network product offering will be expanded in the 2021-22 plan year to all districts in areas of the state where network competition is possible.

Jablonski indicated the single digit increase in premium rates is made possible due to several factors, including:

  • The impact of the EHA’s state-wide wellness and health promotion program;
  • A program designed to assist in the management of chronic diseases and emerging diseases;
  • Holding the line on health and administrative cost increases; and
  • Continued prudent management in the design and choices of benefit plans.

“The EHA Wellness program has been instrumental in improving the health and wellness of EHA covered employees,” said Beth Kernes Krause, EHA Vice Chair and Auburn Public Schools Board of Education member. “The wellness plan continues to expand, such as the recent addition of the Headspace program, and includes options for individuals and school groups to earn financial incentives for achieving goals set by the program.”

“The EHA Board understands the financial concerns of our members as well as the fiscal constraints facing school districts,” said John Spatz, executive director of the Nebraska Association of School Boards. “It is an important responsibility of the EHA Board to balance the health insurance premium increase and the benefit adjustments for both districts and individual employees and their families.”

“The EHA Board takes its responsibility for plan oversight very seriously and we believe the rate increase and benefit enhancement decisions reached by the Board for the 2021-22 plan year have been well thought out and discussed,” said Mike Dulaney, executive director of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators.  “We are confident these changes will allow us to continue to provide a quality, affordable health insurance plan well into the future.”

The Educators Health Alliance is a non-profit corporation that was created to procure quality, affordable health care insurance for Nebraska educational employees. The rates set by the EHA Board are for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) health care plan used by more than 400 public school district and affiliate groups in the state. The plan is governed by a 12-member board representing the Nebraska Association of School Boards, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators and the Nebraska State Education Association. More than 80,000 Nebraskans are covered by the plan, making it the largest health plan in the state.

For more information, contact Sheri Jablonski, EHA Chair, 402-475-7611,

2020-2021 Certificates of Coverage released

2020 Back to School Message

Dear Nebraska Educator,

The Educators Health Alliance would like to sincerely thank you for the work you are doing as we launch into the 2020-21 school year in these unprecedented times. We’d like to pass on a few reminders as the health of our members is the reason we exist.

First, we urge you to take advantage of the EHA benefits that are available to you. It is critically important that you schedule your normal preventive physician visits for annual exams, mammograms, colonoscopies, etc. Continue to take your prescription medications and if you aren’t already, consider refilling your maintenance prescriptions with 90-day supplies to reduce the number of visits to your pharmacy. If you need to talk with someone about any stress or anxiety you are experiencing, EHA providers are available for in-person visits or remote telemedicine visits.

Second, please continue to take care of yourself by continuing to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet and use stress reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, stretch breaks, etc. It may be difficult for you to think of yourself when you are concerned with those around you, but it is important to make sure you take care of your physical and mental wellbeing in these unusual and challenging times. The EHA Wellness Program has several challenges and programs to help you take care of yourself and is always available for you. Please see the enclosed card for more information on how you can get involved. If you have questions or aren’t familiar with EHA Wellness, email today.

Finally, we wanted to remind you to continue to follow the CDC recommended guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask when in the presence of others;
  • Maintain social distance of 6 feet whenever possible;
  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water; and
  • Use hand sanitizer when unable to access soap and water for handwashing.

We thank you for everything you continue to do to serve children and youth in Nebraska. We encourage you to take care of yourself and to access all the EHA has to offer you as we work together to enter the new school year in a safe and healthy manner.


Maddie Fennell, NBCT  
NE State Education Association  

Mike Dulaney, Ph.D.
NE Council of School Administrators

John Spatz, J.D.
NE Association of School Boards

COVID-19: Waiver of Cost Sharing

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska waives member cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment – BCBSNE Newsroom

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) is waiving member cost-sharing for in-network treatment of COVID-19 from March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020. This means that members with medical plan coverage will pay nothing for in-network testing and treatment administered at a doctor’s office, urgent care facility and emergency room, as well as inpatient hospital stays.

The announcement applies to all fully insured group and individual health plan members, along with those who receive their insurance through Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans. BCBSNE is working with their self-funded employer group clients who want to implement a similar approach.

“We’re here to provide peace of mind during a time of uncertainty,” said Steve Grandfield, BCBSNE president and CEO. “Ensuring our members have access to the care they need is our top priority.”

In addition to this latest coverage enhancement, BCBSNE has also made the following changes in response to the current coronavirus pandemic:

Waiving prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for members if diagnosed with COVID-19.
Covering medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19 at no cost-share to members.
Increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (consistent with members’ benefit plans) and encouraging members to use their 90-day mail order benefit.
Extending existing prior authorizations on prescription drugs that are due to expire until May 31, 2020.
Waiving member cost share for all in-network telehealth.

In addition to BCBSNE, other Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, as well as the BCBS Federal Employee Program (FEP), are waiving member cost shares related to COVID-19 treatment. For more information, go to

For the latest updated information about what BCBSNE is doing related to the COVID-19 pandemic, members should visit If members have questions about their claims or coverage, they should call the number on the back of their ID card.

EHA Announcement on COVID-19

Dear EHA Member,
The health and safety of our members are of the utmost importance to the Educators Health Alliance (EHA).

The Nebraska Council of School Administrators, the Nebraska Association of School Boards, and the Nebraska State Education Association (the three organizations who founded EHA) have been meeting with Nebraska Commissioner of Education Dr. Matt Blomstedt and Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer for Nebraska. While we have been planning for the impact of COVID-19 on our schools, we have also been working with our partners at Blue Cross and Blue Shield to make sure that the EHA is also ready to meet the medical needs of our members.

BCBS-NE has put the following a plan in place to continue to provide quality service to our customers while also protecting the health and safety of our employees.

  • COVID-19 Testing: For all members, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska will cover, with no cost share, the appropriate medically necessary diagnostic testing for COVID-19, where it is not covered as part of the Public Health Service response, and ensure patient testing and any subsequently needed care are done in close coordination with federal, state and public health authorities.
  • Medications: Effective immediately, we are increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (according to the terms of the member’s plan). We also encourage members to use their plan’s 90-day mail order benefit. Patients will not be liable for additional charges that stem from obtaining a non-preferred medication if the preferred medication is not available due to shortage or access issues.
  • Telehealth: Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska will cover, with no cost share to the member, the cost of all telehealth visits until further notice.

This expanded coverage applies to all types of health plans, including high deductible health plans, regardless of whether or not the member’s plan currently offers benefits for telehealth.

Additional information on how to enroll in telehealth through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s preferred vendor, AmWell, will be posted on the website prior to Monday.

You can find all updated information on BCBS coverage at: to-the-coronavirus-and-what-you-need-to-know/

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.


Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath




If you have any questions, please call our Member Services department at the number on the back of your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska member ID card.


Maddie Fennell
NSEA Executive Director

Mike Dulaney
NCSA Executive Director

John Spatz
NASB Executive Director


2020 Educators’ Medicare Seminars

We have some important information to share with you about your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) Educators’ Medicare Supplement plan: 

BCBSNE will host eight seminars in November 2019. The sessions will provide you with important updates about the Educators’ Medicare Supplement Plan and will cover:

  • Medicare basics
  • Changes to the Medicare deductible and coinsurance amounts for 2020
  • Changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug plans
  • The Educators’ Medicare Supplement Plan (with optional dental coverage)
  • Conversion options between Plan F to Plan G, or vice versa. Current members may change plans on Jan 1, 2020 with no medical underwriting. Future changes will require medical underwriting and may be denied

Reserving a seat.  

We ask that you reserve your seat by either calling 1-800-356-3485 or by registering online by going to the below links.

Friday, Nov. 1 

Location: Omaha Public Schools: Teachers Administration Center 3215 Cuming Street

Registration Links

Tuesday, Nov. 5

Location: Kearney Educational Service Unit 10, 76 Plaza Boulevard, Room B

Registration Links

Wednesday, Nov. 6

Location: Lincoln Southeast Community College, 8800 “O” Street, Rooms U-102, 104 & 106

Registration Links

Thursday, Nov. 7 

Location: Northeast Community College, Lifelong Learning Center, 801 E. Benjamin Avenue

Registration Links


2019-20 Rates & Benefits Released

Discover the Advantages of Telehealth

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska offers telehealth services through America Well® , also known as Amwell, the industry's leading telehealth solution - serving the Educators Health Alliance.  

To learn more about telehealth please click on the below links:

* Discover Telehealth
* An Innovative Way to Access Health Care 24/7/365!
* Telehealth Registration Quick Guide

Educators Health Alliance Approves 0% Increase in Rates

Educators Health Alliance Approves 0% Increase in Rates

Lincoln, NE – Oct. 23, 2017 – There will be no increase in premium rates next year for the health insurance plan used by nearly every Nebraska school district, following action by the Educators Health Alliance (EHA), a consortium of three statewide public school groups that manages the plan.

Please click on the below link to read the full release:

EHA Announces 2018-2019 Rates