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0512_MetLife CBR

December 15, 2005
Related Topics: Benefit Design and Communication, Latest News
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These days, benefits management involves more than simply providing employees with touch-screen kiosks and call center operators to access HR services. Instead, employee self-service is a comprehensive undertaking that provides all three parties - employers, employees and service providers - with a one-stop shop for the critical information and tools they need. MetLife knows this. MetLife's innovative, three-pronged, web-based approach to managing benefits ensures that everyone in the process receives the right information in a real-time environment.

Balancing Benefits Administration

MetLife's end-to-end online service suite features three portals: MetLink, MyBenefits and MetDental. Launched in 1995, MetLink now helps more than 20,000 MetLife customers manage their company's employee benefits programs. In the past, enrolling an employee in a benefits program would often entail countless phone calls, mounds of paperwork and a lengthy approval process. With MetLink, however, HR administrators enjoy immediate access to employees' MetLife benefit information, allowing them to quickly and easily manage administrative tasks regarding eligibility, billing or claims status.

Because MetLink relies on MetLife as a direct data source, HR administrators can instantly review an employee's eligibility or claim status, access reports on how benefit programs are being utilized by employees, and automatically execute invoice charges. By making the entire cycle of MetLife benefits easier and more efficient for employers, MetLink also allows companies to shift HR administrators' attention from filing papers and performing data entry to focusing on core competencies such as developing retention strategies and identifying skills gaps.

Easy Access to Benefits Information

For employees wishing to gain insight into today's MetLife benefit packages, MetLife offers MyBenefits. According to MetLife research, more than half of employees spend 30 minutes or less a year reviewing benefits coverage. Fortunately, MyBenefits can help reverse the trend by placing critical information at the fingertips of more than one million registered employees. For instance, with respect to their dental benefits, in the span of a few keystrokes, employees can check eligibility and plan details (ie. covered services, benefit levels, plan maximums, deductibles and maximums used-to-date for most dental procedures), print out a claim form, check claims status, and identify participating dentists in their area. In addition to reducing benefits-eligibility delays, employees even have the option of viewing an explanation of benefits statements (EOB) online versus receiving a paper copy.

Prior to portal technology, employees were often left in the dark with regard to a claim's status. That's no longer the case now that MetLife has leveraged email as an added channel for communicating to employees about their benefits. Registered employees can sign up to receive email notification alerting them to when a claim has been processed. In fact, MyBenefits delivered more than 2.8 million email alerts this year, making it one of the largest providers of proactive service via email in the industry.

While MyBenefits increases workforce productivity by allowing employees to make more informed benefits decisions, the portal also alleviates the administrative burden placed on today's HR administrators who typically spend hours responding to telephone and fax inquiries. In fact, MetLife research indicates that upwards of 25 percent of employees who visit MyBenefits to review the status of their benefits claims would have otherwise contacted HR administrators for answers to their questions.

Given the security and privacy concerns surrounding Internet usage today, MetLife has ensured that employees access MyBenefits with a sign-in process through a secured environment. In addition, employees at many companies using MetLife's Trusted Authentication technology are able to access their MetLife benefits information from a single secured log-in on a customer's or third-party administrator's website using one password and without having to sign in for a second time.

Managing the Dental Business

Employees and employers aren't the only ones to benefit from MetLink's suite of online service solutions. According to MetLife's data as of August, 2005, over 50,000 dental practices are currently registered on MetDental, a portal that helps dentists efficiently manage their practice so they can focus on better servicing their patients. Through MetDental, dentists have online access to critical information to answer questions employees may have about eligibility and plan design and pre-treatment estimate information. Users can confirm eligibility before services are even rendered. And because MetDental can be seamlessly integrated with a dental office's practice management software, dentists can easily submit claims online and have the option to receive payment via electronic funds transfer. The result is prompt processing and payment, as well as a reduction in workload for dental office administrators. What's more, MetDental allows dentists to submit claims to carriers other than MetLife, proving that the portal is truly a one-stop-shop for dental practitioners.

The Customer Experience

By developing three portals that facilitate efficient benefits management, MetLife has earned its fair share of accolades from employers, employees and dental service providers. According to MetLife data as of December, 2005, MetLink enjoys a 95 percent satisfaction rating. According to MetLife 2004 Satisfaction Surveys, MyBenefits received a 94 percent satisfaction rating and 93 percent of MyBenefits users prefer managing their benefits online. To date, MetLife research shows that nearly 20,000 employer groups are using MetLink and have submitted over 9 million transactions.

But the combination of MetLink, MyBenefits and MetDental isn't just about satisfaction ratings. Rather, these portals are a valuable extension of MetLife's philosophy of delivering an end-to-end customer experience that is both effective and convenient for all parties involved.

To learn more about MetLife's benefits management tools go to whymetlife.com/eBenefits.

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