How an 800-Employee Missouri School District Streamlined Benefits Enrollment
Educators often spend a lot of their own free time working for their school and their students. Many spend their own money on classroom materials and improvements.
To an educator, time is much more than money. It’s the difference between a stocked classroom or an empty one, graded papers or a stack waiting for attention. And sometimes, it’s even volunteer time afterhours to direct a school play or coach a team.
The staff at Northwest RI School District in House Springs, MO, understands the value of time, and it’s partly why they reached out to American Fidelity Assurance Company for help.
Under his previous enrollment platform, Northwest’s Chief Operating Officer, Geoff Macy, had concerns that employees were spending an excessive amount of time enrolling in their benefits. He also wasn’t pleased that the expensive enrollment system lacked the ability to integrate with his accounting software.
“Realistically, we were creating less work for our employees, but we were creating way more work for our business office and our benefits specialist,” Macy said.
Even though their enrollment system was fine for employees, it was not the best solution as it required a lot of manual entry including making changes, double checking fields, and ensuring that data was accurate.
Northwest was able to take advantage of American Fidelity’s customizable enrollment platform, AFenroll®, which is built for employers and tailored to employees. The platform created an enrollment solution for Northwest that was easy for employees to use, integrated with their accounting software, and required less of their business office and benefits specialist.
“It decreased the amount of work throughout the open enrollment processes exponentially for all of our business office folks,” Macy said.
Additionally, partnering with American Fidelity meant that experienced account representatives were able to take care of enrollment for Northwest. One-on-one, guided enrollments with employees allowed time to truly uncover their specific needs and find benefits solutions personalized to their unique situation.
“The idea that people are utilizing the benefits that we’re paying for, and they’re using it to increase their quality of life, to me I think that’s the greatest thing that American Fidelity has brought to Northwest,” Macy said.
For Macy and the rest of the team at Northwest, making the switch to American Fidelity provided valuable time back to focus on their employees and their students. The biggest time savings, though, came from the integration of AFenroll and their accounting software.
“The amount of time that we’ve saved our business office and our benefits specialist – I bet we’ve saved them 90 to 100 hours,” Macy said.
However, one of the most telling changes Macy noticed was when the head of their local teacher’s organization asked for more time with American Fidelity representatives. Despite being stretched on personal time, it was surprising to hear that employees were wanting to spend more time reviewing their benefits with American Fidelity.
“This was something that I didn’t expect, and I was floored because one thing that educators will tell you is that they just don’t have enough time,” he said.
With all this positive change, Macy was glad to finally have a true strategic partner.
“They asked as many questions about us as we asked about them, and we were able to come together and work out solutions that have benefited the entire Northwest staff. We are exceptionally happy that we made the switch,” Macy said.
This blog is up to date as of April 2021 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.