Client Testimonial Video: Association of Washington Cities
Speaker: Beverly Lakey, CEBS, Trust Program Director for Association of Washington Cities.
- Get introduced to Beverly and who AWC serves
- Learn what problem AWC was dealing with before Vimly
- Hear how Vimly helped to resolve this challenge
- Gain insight into results AWC is experiencing with Vimly
Vimly partners with multi-employer groups, like AWC, including Trusts, Associations, Health Plans, Multiple employer welfare arrangements, Third Party Administrators, Professional Employer Organizations, and more. Contact us today to learn how we can partner with your organization.
- Video Transcript Below
My name is Beverly Lakey. I'm the program director of the AWC Employee Benefit Trust, and I've worked here in the Trust for over 25 years.
Here at AWC, we insure cities and towns and special purpose districts across Washington State. We have just about 280 member employers, about 16,000 employees covered in a total of 36,000 insured lives.
We also work with our COBRA participants, and we offer retiree medical and dental coverages. So we work with our COBRA members and our retiree members as well.
We contract with two medical carriers, two dental carriers, a vision carrier, and a life and long-term disability carrier, as well as an employee assistance program. And under each of these carriers, we have multiple plan options that our member employers can choose from.
So with that said, I'd say we have a lot of moving parts in the employee benefit Trust.
When the AWC employee benefit trust began looking for optional systems for billing, enrollment, eligibility, and processing, we were looking for something that would encompass all of the programs, all of our carriers, and benefit plans in one place and offer that to our member employers so that they could use one system to process the variety of benefit plans that we offer.
Our old system had become a bit antiquated, and what we found ourselves doing is having to keep spreadsheets to keep track of various items. So, we would be creating multiple manual spreadsheets, tracking items, and this over time became consuming, time consuming, and it was, you know, of course, really prone to error. So we needed the software as a service or SaaS model system that would encompass all of the coverages we were offering with more robust tracking and reporting capabilities.
One item that we needed to track was our incoming phone calls and emails. At the Trust, we employ customer service staff, and they act as our members advocate for answering questions, being a reliable source to provide benefit information, et cetera. And we just didn't have a system that allowed us to track our phone calls and email communications with membership in a useful way. So we were also looking for a system that would encompass a task or a note type of feature in it.
And lastly, one other feature that we were looking for was related to financial reporting. So we're not only looking for a vendor who was able to collect all of our premiums payments, make our claim payments or premium payments to vendors. But we needed a vendor who could process our accounts payable invoices. So, for example, our consultants, our printing, our publications, we receive invoices, and we needed our vendor to do that on our behalf and provide us financial reporting that included really all of the complexities that the Trust has.
The AWC Trust moved to Vimly, to the SIMON® system, in mid 2020. And this system did include all of our carriers, and plans.
Once we were on this platform, we were able to eliminate many, if not all, of the separate tracking spreadsheets that we were keeping when our old system was in place.
We found moving to the system that it had significant reporting capability, and if we're not able to get what we need just off of a standard report, we're able to work with Vimly staff and they are often able to generate a report with all of the points of data that are needed.
Vimly also worked through our implementation to develop a tracking system for our customer service phone calls and emails. And we really, really love this feature. So we're able to identify internally who's handling the member inquiry, where that individual is at in the process of helping the person who has the question. And if, then if someone's out for unexpectedly or expectedly for a period of time, it's easy for us to get in the system, find out where they're at and helping that individual, and we can just pick up as if not missing a beat as if they, were there, we're just able to take over and help that individual out.
So it really is a great feature of the system that that we had requested and that Vimly was able to meet our needs on.
Vimly also handles, of course, all of the premium payments, the collection of our members payments coming in, premium payments to our carriers, our claims payments, other accounts receivable, and provides the financial reporting that's needed to the Trust on a monthly basis.
With Vimly all along we just had a wonderfully dedicated team that was so responsive to our needs.
We now have a system that is much more user friendly for not only ourselves but our members as well. And we often do receive really great feedback from our membership about SIMON, about the SIMON platform. It's really nice to be able to log on to the SIMON system. Get into the employer portal and help a member with their question. We can see exactly what they can and it makes just for a much smoother experience and a much easier help session with our membership.
So, you know, in the end when we went live back in 2020 our members eligibility was in place. We didn't have, or didn't receive, those dreaded phone calls from a panic member saying they were at the doctor's office and they were saying, and they were told they didn't have coverage or they, they were at the pharmacy and when their pharmacy checked with their insurance carrier, they were not told they didn't have coverage, they were in fact told they had coverage they were able to access care, and I think really, that's what every organization wants when they make a big transition to a new eligibility system such as we did.
We had a great success with our members accessing care and that was a success for us. In the past another outcome um that we've been able to see is in the past, all of our staff processed the enrollment forms and eligibility changes in our office.
So now that we've been in with Vimly and the SIMON platform, of course, our member employers can process their own changes and that really just makes it more efficient use of our time and their time when they're able to make those quick changes.
We do have the option to roll out the employee portal and we're working on that, we hope to roll that out to those members that are interested within the next year or two.
And lastly, I'd say that we really think of Vimly as our partner and not just a vendor, it's great to be able to brainstorm with them and have them come back with some tangible options for us.
We're a complex group and I feel that Vimly has been really by our side every step of the way and as we work to continue to grow our membership and offer new and valuable service to our membership, Vimly will be alongside as we do that.