Great enrollments don’t happen by accident. They require an experienced “Voluntary Enrollment Architect” to design every step of the enrollment from beginning to end and that is what Elite-VB/Pamela Whitfield brings to every enrollment…whether your company has 50 employees or 5,000.
Following 18 years in Voluntary in Seattle/Bellevue market, the Whitfield Agency expanded offices from Puget Sound, WA to Anchorage, AK in Spring of 2013. New to the state, our agency quickly served employers by evaluating their current voluntary benefit program in place. Many expressed the same concern: lack of service. Our goal was clear: provide a professional, effective and service-oriented voluntary benefit program. Below are just a few of the successful enrollments that we implemented from 2013 to 2020.
Enrollment Date: Summer 2016
# of Employees: 170
CHALLENGE: This popular local transportation company had Aflac for 20 years and had been struggling with lack of service; both with their employees, billing problems and claim denials. The business was a family run business that viewed their employees as family and therefore they vetted their vendors extensively. The carrier in place was so poor that the program was dormant and out-of-compliance and there were also billing problems.
Enrollment Date: Oct 2013
# of Employees: 300
CHALLENGE: High profile healthcare client had lost faith in their current carrier rep due to lack of service. Participation was low due to poor benefits communication and presentation strategy and plans that were overpriced. Company provided no disability benefits and viewed short-term disability as top requested benefit due to 80% of staff being female and desired maternity benefits. Also wanted benefits that would appeal to their Doctors who were a challenge to recruit in a competitive hiring market.
Enrollment Date: June 2018
# of Employees: 315
CHALLENGE: Regional bank had a rich benefit program (medical, dental, short / long-term disability and life) but employees had been requesting additional voluntary benefits for years (due to out-of-pocket expenses). HR had declined to offer the benefits as they felt that interest would be low and didn’t want to introduce pushy or unprofessional reps to their employees.
Enrollment Date: Q4 2016
# of Employees: 1700 with 1400 in Lower 48 spread out over 32 states. Over three payroll cycles with half of the employees on the East Coast
CHALLENGE: This large, multi-state company had decided to offer voluntary benefits through their benefit broker, but the initial enrollment (2015) was unsuccessful. Due to minimal benefit communications, less than 10% of the employees participated in the voluntary benefits. The plan was also out of compliance as many of the employees in states other than Alaska had no idea the benefits were even offered. Company was also looking to find one carrier to provide their employer-paid Group Term Life (GTL) and voluntary with an enrollment that would be easy and online as many employees were highly paid and were spread out in 32 states (two-thirds on the East Coast).
Enrollment Date: Feb 2019
# of Employees: 115
CHALLENGE: This regional airline had employees spread out all over Western Alaska (based in Anchorage). They had challenges with the current carrier rep as flying to these locations in winter proved ineffective (due to weather, lack of hotels, etc.) which led to low participation. They had plans in place that did not provide “guarantee issue” (so health questions applied) and they were interested in a carrier that would cover their pilots for certain plans. Turnover of carrier rep was a problem as was billing and claims service.
Enrollment Date: April 2017
# of Employees: 240
CHALLENGE: Non-profit that had to do the most with a limited benefit budget. Staff was also spread out over Alaska and current carrier rep in Anchorage was ineffective which resulted in a dormant voluntary benefit program. The products in place were old (over 10 years), lacked competitive value in the marketplace and were too costly for their lower wage earners to participate in.
Enrollment Date: Feb 2018
# of Employees: 300
CHALLENGE: This company had recently bought a competitor (in 2017) which had a different benefit package then parent company. The CEO had the opinion that voluntary benefits would not be well received and annually declined the offering. A meeting with HR, VP of Operations, Payroll and their broker with our agency convinced them that their employees would participate with an effective enrollment strategy. The CEO made the decision to move forward due to no cost to their organization and expressed interest from staff.
Enrollment Date: October 2015
# of Employees: 120
CHALLENGE: This school district had a voluntary benefit plan that was “out-of-compliance” due to a rep not coming to the school in years. Policies in place were extremely overpriced (typical hospital plan was over $90/month) and had little value as the district had a low deductible medical plan. Existing disability and life plans had low participation although the school didn’t pay for these benefits. They were looking for a rep who would service their employees, improve the benefit offering and also improve the servicing of their Flex Plan.
Enrollment Date: Summer 2014
# of Employees: 275
CHALLENGE: This busy local hospital in a close-knit community loved their staff. They needed a strong benefit package to attract and retain doctors and specialty nurses as they were not near a big town (3 hours outside of Anchorage). Their current voluntary benefit carrier had changed often and therefore they endured a lack of service. Products were also not priced competitively in the market. They also had not seen a carrier representative during the prior year’s Open Enrollment.
Enrollment Date: October 2013
# of Employees: 600 – over 14 locations with one in Montana
CHALLENGE: One of the first agency clients after office established in Alaska, the CFO was looking for a replacement for their current carrier (Aflac). The problems included service, professionalism and consistent errors with billing. Many employees were very low wage (under $10) and many weren’t eligible for benefits until one year. Their Montana employees had spotty service due to the corporate office being located in Alaska.
Enrollment Date: Nov 2012
# of Employees: 300
CHALLENGE: This borough on the Kenai Peninsula had a horrible time with their current carrier with billing errors (trying to move from individual products to group products being part of the problem) that logged over 800 hours. There was also over-selling happening with their employees as well as products offered to staff that were not approved by HR. They had no new hire service program in place and had their consultant prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) to find a new carrier.