November 1, Companion Life transitioned to a new administrative system. Since that time we have been quite busy navigating the new system and the inevitable hiccups that have come with it.
None of it is insurmountable and Companion has made considerable progress on the issues that we noticed right away.
That being said, here are some items to note. We will continue to give updates as to the status of this as we go.
Companion is overwhelmed with a backlog of transactions. Our understanding is that they are working seven days a week but there is still a lot backlogged from the two-week freeze. Terminations are going relatively quickly through customer service but enrollments are taking longer. Any membership activities/terminations that occurred prior to Nov 1 were not brought over to the new system. Eventually they do plan to add the historical data over time.
In connection with the group/policy numbers, Companion eliminated the subgroups (001, 002, 003, etc.). Different lines of coverage might have had different subgroup numbers. If enrolling an employee, we had to enter their census data multiple times. In paying invoices, the group had to specify which subgroup the amount paid applied to. We had numerous instances where one line of coverage lapsed and another line had a credit balance from an overpayment. Now, all lines of coverage under the same group number are combined.
Policies and certs are not available online. This information will be added to the group portal based on the group's renewal dates. We checked a couple of different November groups and their data wasn't there so we assume they will be updated next November. We have access to some groups but not all.
The portal is designed for employees to enter their enrollment. However, we have been enrolling employees. Enrollments are a little tricky. We have to enter the employee's record (all census and employment data) under Eligibility Maintenance. After the employee has been added, we have to go to 'Enroll New Hire' and make the employee’s elections. Our understanding is that the premium portion of the enrollment isn't correct.
In connection with terminations, once the employee’s record has been selected, on the far right is a column labeled "Action". Typically records reflect Edit or Terminate. If terminate is not reflected (make sure you select "show Terminated Subscribers"), that employee's coverage has been terminated. We don't appear to be able to see specific/detailed coverage information (i.e. enrollment effective dates). To review that the effective data has been entered, select the same employee’s record, select "edit" and review the employee's employment section. The term date is reflected. The customer service area is very helpful and will verify coverage information.
They have made a number of updates/corrections to the system since it went active. Customer service is very helpful - 877-676-5789, option 2, and they have operators that will assist with portal questions. If they don't know the answer, they will research and call back - and they have called back. My only negative on customer service is that hold times can be long. .
For dental enrollments, the website requires social security numbers.