January 31, 2018

Personalized Advocacy + TPAs for Employers

By Accolade Marketing

Why Employers are Moving to TPAs - and how Personalized Advocacy is the Perfect Mate

TPA + Personalized Advocacy is a flexible approach for employers looking for customized health plan design, exceptional employee/member satisfaction, and a dramatic cut to healthcare costs



There's a movement taking place in health and benefits where flexibility is key. We've seen this movement across the market of small to large employers, fueled by a desire to drive innovation across their health and benefits platforms. Such is the case with Allegiant Travel moving its health plan strategy from a single carrier for plan administration and member support, to a combination of third-party administration (TPA) and personalized advocacy - with Accolade. We're thrilled to support Allegiant in this move, and to announce our relationship with Allegiant Travel and Meritain Health today.

So why the move to this type of TPA model? We've seen significant cost savings and high levels of employee satisfaction with a flexible TPA approach. For some employers, there's benefit to having the health plan manage the administration and clinical care needs of the covered population using the tools and resources across their networks. Health plans were designed to manage the process, the data, and the selection of tools and resources so the employer doesn't have to think about it all. Employers are reevaluating their options every 2-3 years, particularly with catastrophic healthcare costs rising 4-6.5% every year, and TPA plus Advocacy approaches are highly appealing. Healthcare is a P&L line item that demands scrutinizing, as it's often the #2 expense behind compensation. This scrutiny by self-insured employers is leading to some interesting conversations and new plan strategies, of which we're often invited to share our model and point of view.

“We anticipate great benefit in moving our health plan strategy to a TPA with personalized advocacy from Accolade. We all know that managing health and benefits can be frustrating, complicated and costly, and we want to support our team members with an exceptional experience that puts them on track toward better health.”

-- Rebecca Henry, Allegiant Vice President of People Services

Today, many of our conversations with employers lead to flexibility discussions - flexibility of data access and sharing, of plan design and the ability to customize, of member experience and increasing their satisfaction, of partners and third-party solution integration, and on. These are the conversations that lead to innovation and openness, as our platform was built specifically with flexibility, customization and personalization of member experience at the core.

As more employers move to self-insure, they're looking for opportunities to carve apart their benefit plans and customize to suit their specific goals. No one wants to consider their approach cookie-cutter. Every employer and culture is different, and these employers are self-insured for a reason. Employee Benefit News outlines the employer move to TPA well in an article last fall. Employers recognize an opportunity to do things differently, disrupt the paths they're on, and customize their benefit package with solutions that best fit their corporate goals, culture and their employees and families on the front lines of both support and expense.

TPAs have emerged as an option for employers looking for new levels of customization around the administration of benefits. “Built for purpose” is a phrase we use often to describe our platform, and TPAs do the same. More than 400 such TPAs exist in the market today, with some owned by the carriers themselves as a means to offer new structure and service levels. The TPA brings employers flexible options for building plans best built for employer purpose, which is often to allow for flexibility across the full plan - administrative services, claim processing, member services and support, personalized care, provider services, case and disease management, utilization management, data integration and sharing, analytics and reporting features, integrated solutions, and more.

We see great value to employers looking to design and offer flexible plans built for them and their employees. And we're thrilled to work with Meritain Health to deliver an exceptional health and benefits experience to Allegiant employees and their family members.

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