District Saves $900,000 by Switching to American Fidelity
“We’re making it happen” is the town slogan for Springdale, Arkansas. A phrase that highlights the community’s stellar reputation of getting things done. That slogan runs deep in the city, and it’s palpable within the walls of the Springdale Public Schools administration office. A team of remarkable people with longevity in serving educators. That servant mindset is what attracted Dee Hobbs, business office supervisor, to the Springdale school district almost 35 years ago.
“I wanted to be in a school district that I thought could make a difference. With Springdale Schools it’s always been the goal to improve anything we need to. It’s very rewarding,” Dee said.
Already armed with the proper tools to serve educators, it was clear the district could be doing more. Like many schools, Covid-19 hit Springdale hard. As employees worked from home, it was difficult to enroll them in benefits over the phone. While low enrollment numbers weren’t previously a challenge, it brought to light that a virtual solution was needed.
“We tried online enrollment but participation was low. Without having someone to help our employees enroll, it was harder to get them engaged,” said Dee.
Additionally, the district was managing claims and billing processes manually. Employees were asked to fill out forms to file claims, that were then passed to the business office to enter and submit. This was a painstaking process that left employees in the dark about the status of their claim.
“Previously, employees had to fill out forms and submit to our business office. We’d send it to our plan administrator who then sent it to a third-party vendor, making the process lengthy.” - Dee Hobbs
The district also struggled with their long-term disability plan. It didn’t integrate with social security. Springdale knew it was time for a change and sought a partner who specializes in providing benefits administration solutions to educators.
The district valued American Fidelity’s 60 years as a leader in benefits administration for educators. Partnering with American Fidelity brought new technology to better serve the district. Employees received one-on-one guided enrollments whether meeting in person or virtually. Virtual enrollments ensured employees saw the same screen as their American Fidelity representative, providing unmatched comfort and security.
The technology also improved claim filing and billing. Claims were now filed by the employee online or by using AFmobile®. And employees could view their claims status in real-time. In addition, Dee no longer had to spend countless hours making manual updates for multiple vendors.
“With American Fidelity being our single source, it has helped us save time and reduced the number of checks we’ve had to send because we can do it all in one place. We feel really good about the simplicity we have with them,” said Dee.
Technology wasn’t the only solution. American Fidelity was able to rework the existing long-term disability plan to better suit employees, ensuring it integrated with other benefits and saving the district money.
“American Fidelity worked hard to get a new plan design that would save the district a lot of money per year without negative impacts to the employee. Our health insurance premiums were increasing by $25 per month per employee, so we took that savings to pay the increase.” - Dee Hobbs
After partnering with American Fidelity, Springdale Public Schools saw improvements quickly.
“When we held open enrollment with American Fidelity for the first time, they met in-person with 99% of our employees individually. I think our next open enrollment will be a breeze,” Dee said.
Employees went from waiting hours or days to find out claim information to viewing it in seconds. Dee and her colleagues also saved countless hours by no longer having to manually file claims on behalf of their employees. Additionally, having their long-term disability plan reworked, saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“American Fidelity’s experience working with educators is a huge plus for us. You always want to help your employees get the best product at the best price in the easiest way possible, and we get that with American Fidelity,“ Dee said.
This blog is up to date as of August 2022 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.