Case Studies

Every client is unique and has different needs. As fellow HR professionals, we have the vision and ability to design and implement customized solutions to make your organization more effective, efficient and profitable. Here are a few success stories that demonstrate the value derived by organizations through Baker Tilly Vantagen partnerships:

Driving Up HSA Enrollment for a Population Already Reliant on HDHP Plans

Industry: Customer Service and Technology | Employees: 2,000+

Or client had been offering High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) options for several years. While its employees were buying into the plan, only a small percentage of them were taking advantage of the plan’s full benefits.

The company has been offering High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) options for several years. It is strategically focused on the consumer-driven model, however has been challenged by the mechanics of bridging employees to the consumer-driven components. That's a fancy way of saying that while enrollment in the company's Health Savings Account (HSA)-centric Plan was on the rise, employee enrollment in the actual HSA benefit was exceptionally low. Thus, this employer reasoned that employees were merely electing the HSA Medical Plan because it offered the lowest cost to employees on a per pay basis.

A multi-pronged approach was taken that focused on expanding the benefits communications experience while simplifying it. In order to better educate employees with respect to the value of the HSA Plan and the role the HSA benefit plays in managing plan expenses, we:

     - Launched ALEX Benefits Counselor to provide an engaging new way for employees to make their plan selection. This fun, online experience also made it easy for employees to understand what the actual HSA is and how it works in managing HDHP expenses.

     - Reengineered the online enrollment process. Rather than simply follow the HDHP plan election with the HSA benefit enrollment option, the system recognized the medical tier selected by the employee and then ushered forth information about annual out-of-pocket expenses the employee may anticipate by being enrolled in this plan. Armed with this "did you know?" information, the employee was then asked if they would like to contribute to the HSA benefit.

During the most recent annual enrollment period, enrollment in the HSA Plan increased by 81%. Even better yet, enrollment in the HSA benefit increased by a whopping 286%.

Finding Your Next HR Leader

Industry:Higher Education | Employees: 2500+

After needing to replace the HR Director for the second time in that many years, this institution decided to try a different approach – place the recruitment process on hold and instead, try to figure out what they really needed in their next leader.

The HR leadership role had been a revolving door for several years and the team found itself in the position of just doing what it could to get by. As a result, there was little focus on strategic initiatives, employee development or customer service to their constituents. Not surprisingly, the reputation of the HR department on campus had suffered and the function was not respected the way that it should be. This institution needed to hire a new HR Director as soon as possible but also had to make sure that they found someone who was an excellent fit with the University’s culture and vision.

Rather than immediately begin another search for an HR Director, we worked with the University to develop a plan of attack. In order to conduct an effective, successful search, the client needed to identify the type of individual that they were looking for. To accomplish this we:

1. Conducted a full HR Audit & Assessment of the department including staff, policies, procedures and level of compliance.

2. A BTV Senior Consultant served as the Interim HR Director while the audit & assessment was being conducted to not only gather first-hand information about the department but also to lend support to the HR team and the University’s leadership on a daily basis.

3. Prepared a detailed findings and recommendations report that was shared with University leadership. 4. As a result of the audit & assessment and BTV’s insight into the needs of the HR department and the University’s culture, we developed a new profile for the HR Director position, formed a new search committee and began the recruitment process.

5. BTV’s Senior Consultant remained in the interim role while the search was being conducted and once a candidate was identified, continued her involvement for an extended period of time to ensure a smooth transition.

By taking the time to figure out exactly what they needed in terms of an HR leader, the University successfully hired a new HR Director who has now been in place for more than one year. BTV was also engaged to assist with the implementation of multiple recommendations from the audit & assessment report. These initiatives have already led to financial savings for the University. The HR department is on its way to establishing itself as the resource it should be.

Redefining An Employee Rewards Program

Industry: Transportation and Logistics | Employees: 1,000+

Our transportation and logistics client was not finding its existing employee rewards program to be very "rewarding". They tasked our team to craft a unique solution to their daunting problem while keeping their employees’ needs in mind.

Our transportation and logistics client, who employs 1,000 nationally, was not finding its existing employee rewards program to be very "rewarding". It was hard to keep control over financially, and its constitution placed a heavy burden on the organization's small HR/Benefits staff. Management found value in the program itself, as it supported the organization's values, however it was looking for a way to tighten up the financial controls, make it less administratively cumbersome on internal staff AND do so in a way that employees would not view the change as a step in the wrong direction.

Management performed a detailed assessment of the existing program and came to determine that of all the rewards options available to employees, most of the rewards money was being used for everyday items and specifically gift cards. The conclusion? Rather than give employees "things" as their rewards, it decided to give them "cash" - money they could use to determine which things make the most sense to them. Armed with that concept, this employer turned to us to talk about the "how".

As the company's existing Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) administrator, we had already been delivering a well received card-based solution to employees. We proposed leveraging that same system to introduce a rewards card that would be issued to employees and loaded with funds based on data provided by the employer. The funds vary by person and based on the actions they have taken to earn more money. While in many cases various types of spending accounts can be stacked onto the same card, the nature of this spending warranted introducing and releasing a specially branded "Cash" card to all eligible employees. This population was much larger than the enrolled HSA and FSA populations. Different than a prepaid health benefits card, this "cash" (VISA) card would allow for widespread purchasing power. A decision was made at the client level to restrict purchases of gasoline due to overspending concerns tied to merchant-level POS limitations.

The setup of the arrangement would allow us and the client to fully understand how monies were moving into and out of these accounts. Just as with the FSA and HSA programs, cardholders could use our convenient portal or the myFlexDollars mobile app to monitor their funds.

With the program now conceptualized and configured, our attention then turned to rollout and employee communication. A comprehensive, multi-channel communications strategy was developed and executed to ensure employees fully understood when, why and how the rewards program was going to change. The launch was orchestrated to fall just in advance of the Christmas holiday (December 1) so as to ensure employees had program funds availability in time for the holidays. Our Contact Center staff was trained on the new program and positioned in advance to assist employees with the change.

A total of $93,000 cash rewards (VISA) cards have been released within the program's first six months. To date, employees have used the program to make $49,000 in purchases derived from the rewards money the earned.

Management is extremely satisfied with the new program and its ability to align with the organization's philosophy while allowing for full control over how monies make their way into and out of the program and removing administrative burden from the HR/Benefits staff. HR/Benefits management is equally satisfied for these reasons and because the solution did not require it to have to bring a new and unproven service provider into the mix. Tying it all together is the custom developed, ongoing reporting package that management uses to ensure proper tax handling and to monitor both the program spend and forfeiture rate to ensure the program is running in a fiscally sound manner.

Maneuvering Through An Expedited Partial Enrollment

Industry: Hospital System | Employees: 950+

Baker Tilly Vantagen’s team was tasked with a client acquisition that required us to complete a very rapid partial installation of services outside of the client's annual enrollment period.While we don't ask for these types of tight conditions to enter into the administrative equation, we don't shy away from them when they do surface. How we respond in situations like this starts not with us but with an eye toward the end result.

Our health care client, a multi-state, multi-facility employer of 800, notified us on March 8 that it was acquiring a new facility and that benefits would need to be extended to the facility's 150 employees with an effective date of April 1. Employee data would not become available for another two weeks.

If we do not respond with a sense of urgency, we will negatively impact one key element of the initial experiences employees have with their new employer. We want our clients to look good, and sometimes whatever it takes is just what it takes to make that happen.

Baker Tilly Vantagen's servicing team, led by Account Manager Chris Haggerty, began working with various internal and external parties to ensure it understood the dynamics of the employer's new location and its employees. Given the late notice, the handling of all aspects of this change needed to be expedited.

Codes were integrated to be able to uniquely align this location and its employees within insurer structure codes/buckets. The addition of the new employees to the existing data file was analyzed immediately to ensure the employees could be loaded at the earliest possible opportunity. Since the employer's broker began benefits meetings at the location shortly after the acquisition was announced, Baker Tilly Vantagen used the onsite presentation materials as the basis for training internal benefits team and call center staff on the intricacies of the acquisition and corresponding enrollment initiative. Billing setups were modified so as to ensure the premiums and costs associated with the new facility's employees were factored into the April billing package.

Baker Tilly Vantagen's team-based service model and its proprietary online enrollment system flexibility enabled all systems to be loaded, tested and brought live for enrollment within one day of first receiving the data for all of the new facility's employees. Employees were able to log into the Online Benefits Center and enroll the very next day. They were allowed 30 days to enroll and all enrolled coverages successfully went into effect for April 1.

Standardizing a Chaotic Leave of Absence Process

Industry: Hospital System | Employees: 14,000+

Our Health Care System client saw a need to significantly improve their leave processes, specifically the billing and collections of employee benefit premiums during an employee's unpaid leave status.

Our client found that with their current processes, there were inconsistencies with billing methodswith some facilities billing during the leave, some doing arrears and some not billing at all. The billing that was taking place was on a monthly cycle, thus confusing employees as to how their premium responsibility tied out to their actual payroll deductions. This confusion resulted in employees discarding their notices, avoiding their payment responsibilities and requesting exceptions.

Baker Tilly Vantagen was engaged to do direct billing of the members and standardize how benefits were being billed for across all entities. This service was installed along with the COBRA Administration and Flexible Spending Account services.

Baker Tilly Vantagen was able to partner with the client to understand their internal system processing and statuses and determine a streamlined method of data delivery which ensured an accurate and efficient direct billing process. Employees are being billed on a bi-weekly cycle and as a result employees have achieved a greater understanding of their premium responsibility when on a leave of absence. Benefit deduction changes and return to work changes are processed timely and accurately. Crisp and clean communications that speak specific to the Employer's environment ensure the employee's will take action. The employer is now collecting in excess of $50,000 in direct bill premiums on a monthly basis.

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