Brookdale is a company that has grown through mergers and acquisitions, but nothing as large as the merger with Emeritus Senior Living in 2014. Brookdale welcomed 30,000 Emeritus associates, increasing its workforce by more than 60 percent! The merger seemed to happen quickly and Brookdale needed to handle the influx of benefits data and communicate effectively with its new associates. The challenge was threefold: (1) onboard the 30,000 associates and maintain the same high level of service current associates expected (2) assist associates to understand their benefit options and make the appropriate selection and (3) activate new associates’ insurance.
The Brookdale benefits team, comprised of 10 associates, worked hard to keep up with current associates’ benefits questions and with the additional wave of associates, it seemed like a daunting task. The company was seeking a solution that could help them keep anchored in the flood, ensuring streamlined enrollment as well as effective and engaging communication on all decks.
Brookdale selected BENEFITFOCUS® Marketplace to streamline benefits administration and enrollment while producing engaging communications year-round. Through a host of data exchange connections with major insurance carriers, benefits information can be passed securely, which has been especially helpful to Brookdale while transitioning new associates from their previous benefits packages to the company’s plans. Brookdale also selected the BENEFITFOCUS® Benefits Service Center to help field calls and ensure resources were available for associates to obtain on-demand and personalized assistance with their benefits needs.
With the massive merger, Brookdale’s benefits administration team had two priorities for onboarding its new associates. They wanted to ensure easy and efficient transition to the company’s benefits plans, and they wanted to engage the new associates to help them embrace the company’s culture. With Benefitfocus Marketplace, both goals were achievable. Many of Brookdale’s associates do not own a computer, but they can quickly access the platform from any mobile device. At sign on, they are greeted with a custom-branded home page reinforcing and strengthening Brookdale culture. From this familiar hub, associates can easily navigate through enrollment, with the option to watch videos and read articles along the way, explaining key details that help them choose the best plans for their situation. When they select their plans with one-click enrollment, data is transferred weekly to the appropriate carriers and file systems, streamlining the process for administrators.
Brookdale’s benefits team gained access to a dedicated band of trained benefits specialists through the Benefitfocus Benefits Service Center. During two open enrollment periods in 2015, the Benefits Service Center fielded a combined 21,000 calls from Brookdale associates! “They’re almost like an extension of our department,” noted Adam Rolfs, Brookdale Benefits Specialist, “They really took the time to understand our culture.”
Having researched Brookdale culture and benefits information extensively, Benefitfocus associates greet Brookdale associates with a customized message, standing in as knowledgeable administrators alongside Brookdale’s actual benefits team, helping to ensure their associates make informed decisions and get the guidance they deserve while reducing Brookdale’s administrative burden.