The Challenge: After two unsuccessful relationships for benefits administration integration support, BPAS needed to find a way to better support its substantiation process.
The Solution: BPAS turned to TPA Stream for a reliable integration, debit card auto-substantiation, and better overall connectivity with carriers nationwide.
The Result: BPAS now benefits from a faster and more integrated claims process for its various business areas. It has also benefited from TPA Stream when competing for new business and providing customer service to plan participants.
BPAS, or Benefit Plans Administrative Services, Inc., is a nationwide retirement and benefit plan provider, fund administrator, and collective investment trust manager. For more than 40 years, BPAS has provided comprehensive retirement planning and record-keeping services to its members and participants — now standing at more than 450,000. The company currently supports more than 3,800 retirement plans, nearly $80 billion in trust assets, and more than $1 trillion in fund administration.
In 2007, BPAS acquired a trust company that focused primarily on consumer-directed health plans (CDHP). When these services began to decline in utilization, BPAS decided to resurrect the CDHP line while also incorporating one of its larger offerings — Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association (VEBA), a trust that’s used to hold plan assets for employee benefits.
Around 2017, older record-keeping processes were in place that didn’t require plan members to substantiate claims. Because VEBAs include a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), BPAS needed to be able to efficiently substantiate members’ claims on debit card medical expenses. BPAS began using the automated solutions available through its benefits administration platform for claims management and carrier file feeding. Unfortunately, BPAS wasn’t getting the results it wanted, so it started searching for another solution.
After a brief relationship with an outsourced solution that ultimately lacked integration with BPAS’ benefits administration platform, BPAS was once again on the search for another option.
TPA Stream approached BPAS in the fall of 2018 and began working closely together to build a solution — white-labeled as ClaimsFinder — that better integrated with their benefits administration platform and provided broad-level support for its different business areas.
“They literally took our data and worked to format it how we needed,” said BPAS Operations Manager Renee House. “We did a data dump, and they were able to work with that data and get us up and running.”
BPAS’ offerings are largely geographical, with the majority of its VEBAs in the northwest, its CDHPs in southern states, and retirement plans heavily focused in the northeast. With such a nationwide focus, the need to work with carriers across the country was critical.
“The debit card auto-substantiation has been tremendous — that’s primarily what we were looking for,” House said. “We also really value TPA Stream’s availability and connectivity with carriers. The ability to reach out to such a broad list has been beneficial. We’re nationwide, so it’s nice to have TPA Stream work with carriers across the country, which are all state-regulated.”
While everyone who comes on with BPAS is given the option to use TPA Stream, BPAS has also proved to be a valuable addition to BPAS’ overall sales strategy — both for its CDHPs as well as with VEBAs despite BPAS holding much of the market share in the latter.
“CDHP is everywhere — any time you can get in the door with auto-substantiation, you’re going to have that edge,” House said. “TPA Stream has helped us win in that area. They’ve also been helpful with onboarding new VEBAs into our system. We’ll have them sign up for ClaimsFinder while they’re onboarding.”
BPAS has also found TPA Stream to be of great benefit when it comes to customer service. When participants call into BPAS upset about a claim or debit card issue, BPAS will use that as an opportunity to promote ClaimsFinder to participants in order to help them get their claims substantiated faster.
Armed with a more efficient and connected solution for debit card auto-substantiation, BPAS is in a better position to serve its participants, support their employers, and win new opportunities for its growing CDHP and VEBA business.
“We have a wonderful partnership with TPA Stream. I love the product — it works so well. My claims processors love it, too. They can see the integrations starting to work and benefit their workflow. It’s a great product for participants, for employers who no longer have to answer questions for participants, and of course, for us.”