By adding carriers Humana and WellPoint, Xerox IT services company ACS has expanded its Web portal that allows retirees to choose Medicare plans.
ACS, a Xerox
unit that provides IT technology services, has expanded the number of Medicare
plans it offers in its My Medicare Advocate Web portal to include plans from
insurers Humana and WellPoint.
My Medicare Advocate combines simple online
decision tools with a call-center service to allow both retirees and employers
to navigate health plans. The site offers enrollment guides and analysis tools
to educate retirees on health plan choices.
service allows the elderly to choose Medicare health plans using an easy-to-use
interface, according to Dan Cahill, ACS' national market leader for My Medicare
retiree perspective, it can be confusing, but we try to make it fairly
simple," Cahill told eWEEK. "They're answering simple questions, but
what's being done behind the scenes is highly complex, not unlike most
educational and plan decision tools, My Medicare Advocate helps retirees
transition from employers' plans to Medicare plans.
agreements with Humana and WellPoint announced May 17, the companies will serve
as anchor affiliates for the ACS Medicare benefits Web tool, Cahill said.
Together, Humana and WellPoint will add 20 additional carriers to My Medicare
perspective, you're combining the really outstanding products that Humana and
WellPoint bring to the marketplace with all the coverage areas and associated
pieces, and you're combining that with the strength of the technology platform
that we've put together," Cahill said.
With the added
networks from Humana and WellPoint, retirees using the ACS platform will have
access to additional group employer benefits.
online modeling tool asks retirees basic questions about age, location, drug
regimen, prescription drug needs, their budget and whether they're a smoker. It
identifies whether the person is in good health. "We will then take
algorithms that have been developed via large databases of information and
start to rank order plans that could be the best fit for these
individuals," Cahill said.
In addition to
choosing their health plans, retirees can pay bills from their carrier using
choose not to use the Web portal can contact the My Medicare Advocate call
center and work with onshore employees with sensitivity training on working
with seniors, he said.
ACS is also
giving the Web platform a boost by using Destination Rx's comparison and
enrollment tools, which CMS (the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
uses to operate its Medicare.gov portal.
has a data-sharing agreement with CMS regarding Medicare plans, Cahill said. My
Medicare Advocate incorporates built-in coordination with CMS on retiree
eligibility and data accuracy.
in incorporating data from multiple carriers' databases is keeping the data
clean and accurate, according to Cahill. "Portals being portals, the hard
part is you're cleaning the data of some of these other folks'
interfaces," he explained. Records for referrals and specific drugs must be
repopulated in the data fields.
My Medicare Advocate will incorporate bConnected call-center technology from
Connextions, a provider of health insurance distribution platforms. bConnected
offers phone, text, email and chat communication.
In March, ACS also announced it had purchased CredenceHealth to incorporate that
company's SAAS (software as a service) applications, which provide doctors with
cloud-based data on lab or radiology results, medications and vital signs.
Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company, FOXNews.com, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents, ScientificAmerican.com, USA Weekend and Womansday.com, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.