This past June, Independence Blue Cross won the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Federal Employee Plan Excellence Award. We received the honor at the annual National FEP Conference in Minneapolis.
This is the second year in a row that Independence has won. The annual award celebrates Blue Plans with high financial, operational, and clinical performance, and strong membership retention and new business sales.
What is the Federal Employee Plan?
Federal employees have the option to purchase health insurance for themselves and their families through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The program offers more than 300 health benefit plans from multiple insurance carriers, including all 36 BCBSA plans. Each Blue plan supports the program in their designated service area.
The Independence FEP program insures more than 76,000 federal employees, retirees, and their families in the Philadelphia five-county area. They are our second-largest customer. Overall, the BCBSA’s FEP program covers 5.3 million federal employees, retirees, and their families across the country.
A True Team Effort
Many Independence business areas work together to support the FEP program. They include Sales, Customer Service, Care Management, Claims, Finance, Informatics, and Internal Audit. The FEP Excellence Award belongs to each of these teams who worked together to support this great program.
Hard Work Pays Off
As the sales manager for FEP, I’m proud of the work my team put in to support federal employees. My team consists of four sales associates who visited every federal agency (i.e., post offices and government offices) in Philadelphia and the surrounding five-county area at least once during 2018.
During our visits, we supported new hire orientations and pre-retirement seminars. We gave presentations about the services Independence offers with our health plans, such as Health Coaching.
We also visited the agencies to set up information booths in common areas, such as the cafeteria. This gave federal employees the opportunity to ask my sales team specific questions about their health plan.
One of the major benefits of these visits is the trust it allows my team to build with the employees at each location. As a result, when open enrollment begins, we’re able to help those employees make the best decision possible about their health care.
Recently, a member of my team visited a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. During the visit, a federal employee told her that his spouse was recently diagnosed with cancer. He said that Independence had been there for him and his family them when they needed it most. He was grateful for this level of service because it gave him the ability to focus exclusively on his spouse’s care and treatment plan.
For me, it’s rewarding that we’re able to be there for FEP employees and provide a level of service that other insurance carriers cannot.
Working Together to Achieve Success
I’m proud of all the business areas (Sales, Customer Service, Care Management, Claims, Finance, Informatics, and Internal Audit) that worked together to bring home the FEP Excellence Award once again this year. I’m especially proud of my team, who retained more than 100 percent of our business with FEP this past year. I look forward to reporting the same retention rate in 2020!