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Case Study: Bethany College

For Staff Who Shape the Future: A Health Plan for ELCA Colleges and Universities

students walking at Bethany College campus

Bethany College is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with a mission “to educate, develop, and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning, and service.” Bethany College employs many different roles, such as professors, athletic coaches, student workers, facilities staff, and more. With such a diverse workforce, they needed a provider who could offer comprehensive, yet flexible, benefits that would help them contain costs and ease administrative burden.

Bethany College’s Challenges
  1. Price increases in health plan rates. As a small college, Bethany must closely manage costs. When faced with a significant increase in health benefits, they knew they needed to change their approach to benefits.
  2. Managing multiple benefits partners. Bethany College’s human resources director and her small staff had to manage individual relationships with multiple HR and benefit providers when they were already overburdened with pandemic-related challenges.
  3. Dissatisfaction with broker relationship. When their insurance broker took them into a smaller buying pool, Bethany lost confidence in their broker’s ability to provide them with competitive pricing and comprehensive benefits.

Bethany College was able to reduce their benefit vendors in half – significantly lessening their administrative burden.

Watch this short video to hear the challenges Bethany College was facing, how their new Portico benefits package is helping employees, and unexpected benefits to working with Portico.

Portico Benefit Services’ Solutions

Bethany College connected with Portico through the ELCA and saw how a large buying pool, holistic plan design, and personalized support could significantly improve their benefits experience.

  1. Stabilizing Rising Health Plan Rates
    Steep health plan rate increases – like those faced by Bethany College – are all too common for organizations with a small member pool. Being part of the ELCA community allows Portico to harness our collective buying power and economies of scale to access vendor partners and negotiate rates not typically available to individual employers. Our team of experts continually assesses the ever-changing healthcare landscape to implement effective cost-containment strategies, all while maintaining a high level of service and coverage.
  2. Streamlining Administration
    The human resources department at Bethany College shared they felt like they were “piecing their benefits together,” contracting with multiple vendors to provide a comprehensive benefit package to their employees. Working as an extension of Bethany’s team, Portico manages multiple vendors on their behalf so they can offer best-in-class services and programs without the extra work.
  3. Providing Professional, Personalized Support
    Working with a broker, Bethany College only had the support of one person. Now they have the support, resources, and services of an entire organization dedicated to providing benefits to the ELCA. With Portico, Bethany gets the best of both worlds – the robust technology and comprehensive benefits administration support of a large provider with the community-focused, person-to-person relationships and service of a faith-based nonprofit.


  • After engaging with Portico, Bethany College was able to cut the number of benefit vendors they had to manage in half – significantly lessening their administrative burden.
  • Over 68% of employees enrolled in Portico benefits options, higher than Portico clients’ average enrollment rate.
  • With the increased rate stability offered by Portico’s health pool, Bethany College is now able to anticipate future costs which helps them with planning and budgeting.

Serving You Is Our Life’s Work

Portico understands and shares your deep commitment to service and the need for careful stewardship of limited resources. We support you and your staff with high-quality, fully integrated, easy-to-administer benefits, access to best-in-class vendors, proven technology, and tools — all supported by an award-winning Customer Care Center.

To learn more about how Portico can support your college or university, please contact us.