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Client Stories

1,600-employee company leaves ICHRA challenges behind w/ Take Command

Company Profile-Nystrom

Nystrom Counseling, a Minnesota-based healthcare organization delivering mental health services to underserved, rural populations, was facing several challenges when it came to health benefits. They were scaling quickly, averaging four to five acquisitions each year with 60 clinics spread across five states. They had already tried to cut costs of their self-funded plan with an ICHRA, but had a less than stellar experience with an inexperienced HRA administrator that required a change.

With 1,600 employees and counting, the company needed to make adjustments quickly in order to continue to take care of their team. Kayla Cheney, the Benefits Manager at Nystrom Counseling, handles benefits administration for a growing workforce along with leave and accommodation. She’s onboarding 20 to 30 people weekly and has a lot on her plate. Having been in her role for 10 years, she’s seen the company transform from a small, family-owned business to a quickly growing company with plans to continue to expand. This growth is also reflected in their HR strategy; when she began, any employee would ask HR for any sort of question. Today, she needs to maintain a scalable solution that empowers employees to find the information they need on their own.  

An HRA as a recruitment tool

A common question that Kayla fields from job applicants is whether or not a certain prescription would be covered under Nystrom Counseling’s health insurance. She’s always happy to steer them to the Take Command website or a Take Command enrollment navigator so that the potential employee can answer those questions on their own. Knowing that these employees can choose what’s best for them takes a lot of the pressure off. With the high number of employees coming over via acquisitions, she would also hear often that they had previously not had great insurance. Knowing that they would have their choice of the entire individual health insurance market, it was reassuring to those employees that they could choose what’s best for them. Kayla always enjoys explaining how Nystrom’s ICHRA will work better than a group plan.


Taking pressure off the HR team

New hires often send Kayla notes asking how the company’s health benefits work. She simply refers them to Take Command or her SharePoint page with resources and links.

For existing employees, there are questions about doctor bills or why a physician might not be within a certain network. Employees often ask, “What do I do now?” Sometimes Kayla can answer the question. It is a healthcare company, after all. But when she doesn’t know the answer, she is able to direct the employee to Take Command.

From an administrator perspective, it’s been pretty seamless.

If employees engage with Take Command’s team and use their resources, the enrollment process if smooth. I often hear employees say, “This is great! I can actually talk to somebody.” The transition from the previous HRA administrator to Take Command had a few hiccups initiated by the other HRA administrator that were quickly resolved by Take Command. Take Command’s Client Success Team worked tirelessly to get things right and start the relationship out on solid footing.

Our experience with Take Command has been pretty smooth. Whenever there is an issue, 98% of the time it’s the employee’s lack of understanding of the concept. Take Command is quick to answer their questions.

HRA Highlights-Nystrom

Evaluating the right HRA partner

Nystrom Counseling knew what they needed from what they had lacked with their previous HRA partner of two years. They prioritized things like customer service and accuracy and dependability around bill payment. They also knew that while there are several HRA administrators in the playing field, with a couple even local to Minnesota, they needed a partner who had already solved for handling the needs of a large client.

“With Take Command, we got answers every step of the way.”



Client Stories

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