Over the many years that ASEBP has worked with covered members and school jurisdictions we have learned many things with them and from them. One key insight in the early to mid-90s was the shift from being a traditional transactional benefit plan provider (claims in, dollars out) to helping covered members manage their health, and more recently, proactively helping covered members and school jurisdiction leaders maintain and build “healthy people and healthy workplaces.” While our core will always be health benefits, the context of health has been adopted throughout the work that ASEBP teams and individuals do.
Health is more than an absence of illness. It is holistic and incorporates the physical, mental, spiritual, cultural and social dimensions of health. This is a definition of health adopted by ASEBP a number of years ago. It is based on leading research and also reflects the Trustees’ direction regarding a holistic approach to our work.
Very traditional health models have placed the responsibility and burden for health on the shoulders of the individual. At ASEBP, we recognize that health exists at a number of levels and that each of these levels contribute or detract from the health of each ring.
Another perspective is that the health of an individual cannot be thought of in isolation from the world around the person. And equally so, the world is influenced by the health of the individual. While ASEBP’s primary focus has been on supporting individuals, we recognize that to best support the health of people is to also support the health of their workplace and the broader system.