Arkansas launches insurance portal

Arkansas' Employee Benefits Division (EBD) is building a Web-based system that will enable active and retired state and public school employees to view, enroll in and manage their health care plans and life insurance programs online.

State officials are rolling out the system in stages to replace a fragmented framework, which is partially paper-based and partially composed of homegrown systems, said Sharon Dickerson, executive director of the division.

The state has a self-insured program for its 76,000 school and state employees. On Aug. 1 school workers became the first to have online access for open enrollment. As of Oct. 1, state employees now have the same capabilities. With eligibility data in one central repository, benefits include reduced paper use, lower administrative costs and improved efficiency, Dickerson said.

A beneficial system

Arkansas' new insurance portal will include a central repository for all insurance claims filed by state and public school employees.

Benefits of this repository include:

* Identifying potential duplicate claims.

* Generating reports that filter data from the whole system.

* Enabling employers to reconcile disparities with data in their payroll systems.


Employee benefits officials also hope that by next summer, claims sent by third-party health care insurers for reimbursement will be paid through the online system. The state agency also wants a claims repository that will check eligibility at almost the same time the health care carrier requests reimbursement. This will enable the division to check eligibilities on claims and possibly eliminate duplicate payments.

Another benefit of a claims repository would be the ability to query the system and generate reports that filter data from the whole system. For example, EBD officials could see how many employees have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and determine how to improve their care, she said.

"We haven't really had that ability in quite a long time," Dickerson said. Through the new system, they can look at various programs available for disease management, educate members and thus improve the quality of life.

Business officials could view bills in the system to reconcile disparities or errors with data in their payroll systems. In the past, such officials had to deal with paper bills, take the time to find errors on a list and then send in the corrections. Officials can correct bills immediately in the new system. "That's the goal," Dickerson said. "The reality is it's going to take a while for them to get there because they haven't had a system as this in the past."

The Web-based system is fairly intuitive and captures most information accurately, said George Platt, the division's operations manager. Since going live Aug. 1, in time for open enrollment for school employees, the site has received 10,000 hits, he said.

Work on the project started about a year ago. Platt said system developers identified nearly two dozen data sources, from payroll to homegrown systems that track retirees, that had to be verified, cleaned up and converted into a centralized Oracle Corp. 9i database.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group