Ideon Blog

August 01, 2022

By: Ideon

Decisely’s growth story: Seamless scalability through better carrier connections

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Decisely’s growth story: Seamless scalability through better carrier connections

“When data is in sync, everybody wins”

We recently solved a problem for a benefits administration platform.

It was a pretty big one, and we’re quite pleased with the solution we came up with. In fact, we think the story of what we did might be helpful to other platforms in the health insurance and employee benefits industry, which is why we published a case study with the details.

The challenges Decisely faced are all too familiar to other benefits administration platforms.

Is your company one of them? Read the full case study below to learn how Ideon presented Decisely with a solution that revolutionized their operations and employee experience in the best way.

The Challenge

With easy-to-use brokerage and technology solutions, Decisely promises, and delivers, to small businesses a simple way to handle employee benefits. By 2021, however, Decisely ran into an industrywide challenge that threatened its ability to deliver a seamless benefits experience.

A Communication Problem

The problem was in communicating group and employee enrollment data to health insurance carriers and other benefits providers. Every carrier wants this information delivered differently. Some needed PDF forms filled out and emailed. Others required Decisely to enter each employee’s information into a web portal. Still others allowed the company to send group and member information using electronic data interchange (EDI), but even that involved unique formats and file requirements.

These data exchange challenges are common throughout the benefits ecosystem, creating inefficiencies and limiting scalability for HR and benefits platforms like Decisely.

“Every carrier has its own flavor of EDI with its own nuances,” says Gerald Nichols, Decisely’s Vice-President of product management. “Our biggest issues were getting everything done right, the same way, every time. We decided that if we were to grow with the speed and scale we planned, we would need to find a way to handle enrollments consistently.”

Indeed, Decisely found a way to enroll groups faster and more accurately than ever before—while maximizing their existing operational resources.

The Solution

When the Decisely operations team learned about Ideon’s new enrollment solution, their interest was piqued. The tech company had long used Ideon to automate their small group quoting process. Now Decisely had the opportunity to set up one API connection to Ideon, which would handle the transmission of group and member enrollment information to dozens of carriers. “Once I saw that I wouldn’t have to worry about the nuances of how each carrier wanted enrollment data, we jumped on Ideon’s solution,” Nichols said.

Working Together

Decisely connects to Ideon via an API that is consistent across carriers, replacing numerous carrier-specific formats and file specs. “With EDI, I had to have different people dedicated to each carrier,” Nichols explains. “Now I can train a handful of people in Ideon, and they can control the world. Sending to Kaiser looks the same as sending to MetLife and Guardian.”

Also significant is the automation of once-manual processes. Ideon’s API enables Decisely to exchange data with some carriers that had previously required enrollment information to be manually entered on their websites or on PDF forms.

Integrating to Ideon’s API, Nichols says, was about speed and efficiency, too. Decisely is now setting up groups in significantly less time than direct EDI connections and has eliminated several time-consuming tasks. “When we got a new customer, before partnering with Ideon, we’d have to call the carrier to get file specs, build the file, send a test, get the results, send another test, get more results, and then after several more times in that loop, we’d finally be able to start sending production files,” noted Nichols. “There seems to be numerous departments to coordinate with at the carrier, and sometimes it takes an inordinate amount of time.”

Using traditional EDI, it would typically take Decisely six to eight weeks to enroll a group’s employees when connecting to a new carrier. With Ideon, Nichols says, it takes no more than a week. The difference is just as significant when adding a new group to a carrier Decisely has already worked with. “If it’s a carrier we’re familiar with, Ideon can help get a group live in a couple of hours instead of a week,” Nichols says.

The Impact

Scalability was the original goal — an objective, Nichols says, Decisely has achieved. But consistent carrier connectivity has also yielded significant operational and user experience benefits.

From an operational standpoint, Decisely’s enrollment team is now more efficient. “There are fewer forms to fill out, less manual case processing, less calling and emailing carriers to confirm something was done,” Nichols says. “That gives us a lot of time back.”

The impact is especially significant at the end of the year, when most companies enroll and renew their benefits plans for the next year. “It’s always hard to get the right resources in the fourth quarter,” Nichols says. “Ideon allows us to scale faster and handle year-end volume with ease.”

Client Results

Decisely’s clients benefit too. Ideon’s technology ensures critical data—such as social security numbers and dependent information—is in sync between carrier systems and Decisely. The result: more accurate billing, and employees can count on coverage when they need it.

“Employees are getting benefit cards in a timely manner, and they aren’t sitting at a doctor’s office being told they don’t have coverage because the data hasn’t gotten to the carrier yet,” Nichols says. “When the data is in sync, everybody wins.”

Moving forward, Nichols expects to shift as much of Decisely’s book of business over to Ideon as possible. “We have aggressive growth plans — and we’ll be able to meet those by putting new business through Ideon’s API.”


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