Raleigh, N.C., Public School District with 18,294 Employees Serving 137,000 Students
Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is the second largest school system in the state. Serving the entire county, WCPSS employs 18,294 people and educates more than 137,000 students each year. The school system was formed in 1976 through the merger of the City of Raleigh and Wake County school systems. WCPSS and its school board are committed to providing the highest quality education to Wake County students, while maintaining fiscal responsibility and accountability.
Paper Forms for 10 Carriers Required Manual Keying, Scanning and Mailing
Wake County Public School System previously managed its benefits with a traditional, paper-based system. Each employee received a packet of benefit enrollment information prior to Open Enrollment and was required to fill out a paper form for up to 10 carriers. The applications were then mailed to the compensation and services department at WCPSS, where they were allocated by last name to each representative. Considering the system has more than 18,000 employees, each representative was responsible for thousands of paper employee benefit records.
After the multitude of forms were entered into the benefits system at WCPSS, each one was individually scanned and printed for the school system to keep on hand. The original applications were then shipped to the insurance carrier. “With our old process, we had no time to get system initiatives completed because we were always entering benefit information,” said Ana Martinez, senior administrator of benefits for Wake County Public School System.
Employee Self-service with the Benefitfocus Platform™ and the HR InTouch Application
The North Carolina State Health Plan suggested that WCPSS adopt eBenefitsNow, a private label of the Benefitfocus Platform, to automate enrollment and streamline administration. The system’s employees were accustomed to using Web-based applications for other services at home. eBenefitsNow allows them to maintain the same convenience for their benefits.
“Implementation of eBenefitsNow was wonderful. Trainers for the application came on-site and walked us through the whole process before we rolled it out to the employees, which was extremely helpful,” explained Martinez.
During Open Enrollment each employee goes online to eBenefitsNow and completes the step-by-step process. The One-Thought-Per-Screen design educates the employees as they view their options so they can make informed choices.
WCPSS also leverages the HR InTouch App to communicate effectively with employees about their benefits, Human Resources policies, health and wellness, and other healthcare-related topics.
Seamless, Integrated Benefits Experience
Martinez is ready to add more electronic solutions after seeing the success of the current technology, stating, “Now that we have seen the advantages of going paperless, we want to utilize all the tools available to us.”
After the initial log in and seeing how easy and intuitive the application was, employees were excited about it. “The big difference for our employees was the changes. Instead of waiting 30 to 45 days for the changes to take effect, they are able to use the real-time feeds within eBenefitsNow to see the status. It usually only takes a few days now,” explained Martinez. “Our employees have control over the process now and feel empowered. Instead of hoping the changes happened via mail, they have the proof right in front of them.”
For example, allowing employees to change their addresses online is extremely beneficial for terminated employees. Even though they may no longer have benefits through WCPSS, they can still use the HR InTouch App to ensure they receive tax information come spring.
“This has been an incredible experience. The time savings we experienced were huge and we didn’t have to hire additional staff to get through Open Enrollment,” said Martinez.