Andy Howell: Call volumes hindered enrollment

October 31, 2013 

Your Oct. 30 news story “State Health Plan pushes for change” gave an incomplete picture. The state selected Benefitfocus as the technology provider for N.C. State Health Plan’s open enrollment.

Since open enrollment began Oct. 1, there have been 215,000 enrollments completed covering roughly 400,000 eligible members and dependents. To date, 88 percent of state employees and retirees who have enrolled did so online with 100 percent system availability and response times of less than one second. Employees are also enrolling by phone. High phone call volumes to enroll or for questions were due to several factors, including a third-party telephone carrier outage, sustained calls about changes in insurance eligibility and coverage and users not being able to see their completed health assessment forms.

The state’s third-party vendor created and managed the health assessment forms, and the results were not immediately available to enrollees. We helped the vendor make revisions to address enrollee requests. We recognized the spike in calls, and we worked with the call center vendor to add personnel to handle this. Average call wait times have steadily declined. Approximately 25,000 members have signed up by telephone.

We are proud to work with SHP and support state employees.

Andy Howell

Chief Operating Officer, Benefitfocus

Charleston, S.C.

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