Valencia College has various types of employees –faculty, administrative and career service employees that are full-time, part-time or variable hour. The benefits team was already struggling with managing the different employee categories on their current enrollment system when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduced new eligibility requirements. They were at a loss for how their enrollment system would handle even more complex eligibility rules when they were already pushing the envelope with its limited level of flexibility.
Employee education was also an area of concern for Valencia. “We need to help people on the front end a lot more in making the best decision for their benefits so when they’re dealt an emotional blow or physical blow that that’s really one less thing they have to worry about,” explained Tom Keller, Director of Benefits at Valencia College.
Valencia sought a modern technology platform that would simplify administration and help employees make the best benefit decisions going into the post-ACA world.
Valencia College selected BENEFITFOCUS® Marketplace to better manage and communicate employee benefits. Through single sign-on, employees can access their benefits information within the Marketplace from the Valencia’s intranet so they don’t have to remember a new set of login credentials. Administrators were able to customize the Marketplace’s Communication Portal with instructional videos and informative resources to educate employees about all of Valencia’s benefit options.
Even more exciting for Valencia was the flexibility Benefitfocus provided in its ability to configure enrollment workflows based on their specific eligibility rules. By tailoring the enrollment experience to accommodate each of Valencia’s employee types, Valencia felt prepared in their ability to address ACA requirements and guide employees to plans that best match their specific health and financial needs.
“We actually limited what benefits we offered to those ACA-eligible employees and Benefitfocus allowed us to be able to do that...to really guide that ACA-eligible employee through a specific enrollment as opposed to another full-time employee,” explained Keller.
By implementing Benefitfocus Marketplace, Valencia was able to eliminate the error-prone manual data entry process and automate the transmission of benefits enrollment data with their insurance carriers and payroll system. Not only were they able to achieve a higher level of accuracy, but Valencia also improved their ability to service employees when changes were needed or claims were in question.
The Benefitfocus Marketplace also enables Valencia to put their benefits data to work. The platform’s data visualization tools and widgets keeps the benefits team updated on what’s happening during open enrollment. They can pinpoint which employees have completed enrollment, left incomplete applications or haven’t even started. From there, administrators can send targeted communication to groups of employees based on the enrollment status.
Administrative tools extend beyond managing open enrollment with reporting dashboards that give Valencia’s benefits team insight into plan performance, employee participation and year-over-year trends. Administrators can use this information to see how they need to modify their benefits program to better appeal to employees and help ensure they’re getting the most bang for their buck.
Keller explains: “It allows us in the benefits department to really work at a higher level and really work in guiding our employees and helping them be more strategic rather than focusing on the administrative tasks of entry and things like that."