District sees 100% employee engagement during open enrollment due to a provider change mid plan year
Taking care of people is the mission of school professionals everywhere. In a time where turnover is soaring and change constant, the extra care is often the difference between staff staying or leaving.
But what do you do when it’s your benefits broker who makes a massive change right before open enrollment? Tammy Brown, benefits coordinator at Coffee County Schools, Georgia, knows about this firsthand.
When the previous benefits administrator changed their benefits platform right before annual enrollment, Coffee County knew the time was right to make a change, that they deserved better.
“When we were with the previous broker and they made a change at an inopportune time, it was very frustrating that I couldn’t get my reports I wanted to run.”
On top of the unexpected tech change, their previous vendor brokered multiple products, which meant Tammy was spending valuable time each month cutting separate checks and reconciling up to five separate bills.
And taking care of people wasn’t happening the way Tammy expected.
- The previous broker didn’t do the one-on-one enrollment.
- Employee understanding was low and benefits participation even lower.
- Employees didn’t even know the plans they had.
But thanks to a switch just before open enrollment, Tammy showed her 1,000+ person staff that they’re valued with more than money. She gave them knowledge.
“Open enrollment is a very big thing for benefits. With us having problems with our previous provider, it was kind of scary to change to American Fidelity during that time. But we knew we had to make a change," said Tammy.
The thing Coffee County wanted most in a provider was a partner. With the previous broker, everyone was on their own to figure it out. Employees had questions, and Tammy and her staff needed a partner to rely on.
American Fidelity came onsite within two weeks and met with every single employee during open enrollment. In turn, employees felt comfortable asking questions to better understand their benefits.
“There’s a direct relationship between taking care of people and offering a good benefits partner,” said Tammy.
With staff now understanding their benefits, Tammy has fewer email and phone call interruptions, allowing her to better do her job.
That’s not all. Moving from a broker to a partner, Tammy and her team streamlined operations. She was able to save time in monthly bill reconciliation and communications, noting that a great benefit with American Fidelity is having one person to contact.
“When we were with our previous provider, we had several different vendors we had to cut checks for each month. It saved a lot of time and a lot of headaches moving to American Fidelity.”
When the enrollment was complete, 100% of employees had met with Coffee County’s dedicated account manager. Where before only about 40% of staff understood their benefits, Tammy believes that in one open enrollment, that number increased to 75%.
In the business office, Tammy saved hours each month by partnering with one provider to seamlessly manage Coffee County’s benefits.
“By cutting the one check for American Fidelity instead of several checks, it’s saved at least ten hours a month, said Tammy.”
And now that employees are empowered with knowledge, employee phone calls, emails and drop-ins have been reduced by about 30%.
When asked what others are missing by not looking at American Fidelity, Tammy replied, “If they’re using multiple vendors, get rid of them and go with one. One person makes things a lot simpler for the employee and employer.”
This blog is up to date as of July 2022 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.