Everyone can relate to the challenges of understanding their healthcare insurance benefits. For retirees trying to navigate their complex Medicare plans, these challenges are magnified exponentially. We speak from firsthand experience, as we receive an average of over 2,000 calls per day from retirees. Their challenges, frustrations, and questions are wide-ranging.
Retire Advocacy: Resolving Retiree Issues
At RetireeFirst, our Retiree Advocacy Services are all about proactively, compassionately working on retirees’ behalf to resolve their issues. In many cases, this involves our in-house Advocates placing outbound calls to work through challenges and issues. They’ll call pharmacists if retirees are told their drug isn’t covered. They’ll call providers if retirees are told their doctor is out of network or that a specific visit type isn’t covered. They’ll call carriers to obtain confirmation of plan benefits. Or they’ll contact any other entity who can provide information to help solve retirees’ problems.
Our advocacy service is not a typical call center operation. Advocates are measured on successful issue resolution – not the number of calls taken in a day or week. Advocates might spend multiple hours handling one problem, and they’ll do so until it’s resolved to the retirees’ satisfaction. Most importantly, Advocates will contact retirees not only to advise them of resolution, but also to follow-up at a later timeframe to ensure that next steps occurred as expected. For example, did the medication get filled and delivered? Did the retiree have their doctor appointment?
Retire Engagement: Enhancing Health and Wellness
Aside from handling day-to-day challenges, we take a holistic, big-picture approach to proactively engaging retirees to improve retiree health and wellness. Through our Gaps In Care program, our Advocate Wellness Team makes timely calls reminding retirees to schedule annual well visits, flu shots, important screenings, and more. The Team also educates retirees on carrier wellness programs covered under their plan. In addition to enhancing retiree health and wellbeing, our wellness initiatives can reduce gaps in care and lower the overall cost of care by reducing costly visits to Urgent Care centers and ERs.
Eleanor’s story is a shining example of how RetireeFirst Advocates go to amazing lengths for retirees. Eleanor, a member of Teamsters 282, needed weekly medical appointments to manage a recurring condition. However, she didn’t own a car or have anyone locally who could drive her to the appointments.
Anxious and panicked about how she would be able to make these critical appointments, she contacted her dedicated Advocate, Brooke. Brooke proactively worked to help Eleanor by contacting the plan’s carrier but was informed that non-emergency transportation wasn’t covered. Brooke then called various senior and commuter services, including bus, taxi, and jitney. However, these services were either cost-prohibitive or outside Eleanor’s service area. Brooke also researched various ride-share app services and found one that was reasonably-priced.
Brooke called Eleanor to advise that a ride-share service was the best option. Eleanor was concerned about how to use the app, quite common among members and technology usage. Therefore, Brooke walked Eleanor through all steps of downloading and using the app. The rideshare solution has enabled Eleanor to make every weekly appointment.
Building Strong Relationships and Friendships with Retirees
For over 2 years, Eleanor has developed a trusting, personal friendship with Brooke, who has helped resolve many other issues on Eleanor’s behalf. That’s precisely why, when calling RetireeFirst, retirees may choose to speak with the same Advocate to assist with their questions or challenges. We see examples of this special bond between our Advocates and retirees repeatedly, because when Advocates do whatever it takes to help retirees, a special relationship is formed over time. Retirees crave this human-centric support and friendship.
I love this image of flowers being delivered to one of our Advocates as a special thanks from a retiree she serves (we get many flower deliveries here at RetireeFirst!).
And I love this quote from a RetireeFirst client, as it truly exemplifies this special Advocate-retiree relationship:
“The biggest thing with retirees is they don’t like change. As soon as there was change, they panicked, and they called me. But what happens with RetireeFirst is retirees have direct access to call and get answers. They’re not calling an 800 number. They’re talking to somebody that knows them, and they’re friends.”
Going above and beyond in caring for retirees not only benefits them, but it benefits our clients and carrier partners alike. We navigate the Medicare maze, so they don’t have to.
Please feel free to drop us a line, using the form below. We’d love to learn about your specific needs and how our services can help you and your team!