A Primary Care benefit tailored to meet all an employer's needs

Aligned Marketplace Founding Team
June 4, 2024

When we designed the Aligned Marketplace solution, we wanted to build something that made the lives of benefits managers and HR staff easier, not harder. The last few years have seen an explosion in the number of solutions that they have to administer, and as industry veterans we realized that it was imperative to not add to the burden.

So, when we launched our first new-member enrollment period in March 2024, we were just as concerned with the experience of the administrators overseeing it as the new members signing on.

For members, the success of a launch can be understood largely through engagement numbers. But to understand how it went for the benefits managers, we had to hear from them directly. And what we heard was at least as encouraging as the metrics.

Both benefits leaders were already well aware of the importance of primary care in improving outcomes and reducing overall costs and had tried to engage with Advanced Primary Care (APC) solutions in previous years. But despite the promise of advanced primary care, they hadn’t found an APC solution that really addressed their needs: none offered the geographical diversity they needed, and all had too high of an upfront cost to provide a substantial business case to garner approval. “The upfront cost was so extraordinary it just wasn't something we could justify the cost for, ”explained the SVP of People Operations.

Aligned Marketplace uses a Value-Based Care cost model, though, and this turned out to make a real difference, once the approval committee had spent some time absorbing it. Ultimately, the idea of net savings on overall cost of care, combined with better access to personalized primary care, was something even skeptical committee members were willing to consider.

The final convincing argument, though, was the breadth of providers and coverage Aligned was able to offer. “The third benefit,” the SVP went on to explain, “not far behind better care and reduced cost, was just choice. In our search it was difficult to find one company that can reach our team in all 50 states, provide options for our diverse population members and dependents, from age 18. Aligned was able to offer both virtual and in-person options which met this need.”

Aligned’s degree of choice turned out to be something new members appreciated as well. Some even went so far as to proactively share with their benefits managers directly to explain how pleased they were with their new provider—and the sign-up process in general.

“I had one of our team members come up to me last week and tell me that they had met with their provider using the Aligned benefit,” explained the company’s Benefits and Leave Manager. “It was super easy to schedule the appointment; she was able to get right in. And when she met with the doctor she said, ‘He sat and talked to me, and completely understood exactly what I was looking for!’ And for this specific person, these appointments really matter, so for her to have the time to sit and talk to this doctor was great…she got the opportunity to really build a relationship and not feel rushed.”

Both managers drew special attention to the support they got from Aligned Marketplace up to and during the launch, both in handling employee communications and responding to questions and concerns. “It was a leap of faith for us to really just say, ‘Hey, I'm copying the Aligned team, they're going to help you,’ and let the team members start creating those relationships with their support team,” explained one leader. “That was a tough sell for me. But I have a high level of trust in the people with Aligned, so I was willing to do it, because my experience with implementation is that they were good listeners.”

Perhaps the biggest vote of confidence we received, though, was the fact that both benefits leads we spoke with are now Aligned members themselves. After their first PCP appointments through the new system, in fact, both now describe themselves as “super fans”. We were particularly excited to hear the personal experience of the SVP, who went into her first appointment with a long list of questions and concerns, was given the time and attention to go through every one of them, and finished with a confirmation that her allergy prescription was being automatically filled, and a follow-up bloodwork appointment was already being scheduled.

“I was never a doubter,” she concluded, “but I was shocked that the expectations I painted for the rest of the company were actually true for me…I think Aligned has just been a great partner. Everything we've asked for—they've exceeded expectations, and it's rare to find that in the vendor!”

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