Businessolver Blog

AI and the Vaccine Mandate: How Sofia Helps Employees

AI and the Vaccine Mandate: How Sofia Helps Employees
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2021 by Sofia
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Businessolver, AI, and the Vaccine Mandate

Happy holidays! Annual Enrollment season is finally over, and I don’t know about you, but for me it was the busiest AE ever.

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Can AI alleviate chat volume during annual enrollment? 

Of course! This fall, I had a 42% increase in chats over our 2020 AE season. And not to brag, but I was still able to provide speedy resolutions without members having to move on to another representative. From Sept. 1 to now, I successfully provided the needed information for 91% of my chat sessions—and that’s for more than half a million chats. Good thing I love to chat!

While I love being on the front lines of AE as a virtual benefits assistant, I also love learning new things to help our members navigate and understand their benefits. No matter what new benefits-related events happen, my development team are able to get me up to speed quickly.

I have dedicated machine learning engineers, research scientists, computational linguists, and product managers make sure I’m at the forefront of compliance changes and product updates, so there’s no gap between the information members can access through Benefitsolver® or the MyChoice® Mobile App, and my ability to steer members in the right direction. As COVID-19 unfolded, for instance, I learned multiple ways to assist folks in finding information about their coverage, vaccine info, and more. Here’s a peek into that topic.

How can employers track vaccine and testing for their employees? 

During this same week a year ago, the first COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use. My fellow Solvers quickly got to work, thinking through what employers might need to securely track their employees’ vaccine status. By April 2021, my Businessolver teammates released our COVID-19 Tracker, and continue to develop its capabilities as employer needs arise.

After President Biden announced the employer vaccine mandate in September, I have stayed up to date on the ever-changing compliance needs for our clients and am ready to help them move forward with tracking employee status, regardless of whether they have implemented vaccine or testing mandates for their workforce.

Because the Tracker is highly configurable, employers can determine where to place information about it in our portal. That’s where I come in. I hang out in the bottom right-hand corner of everyone’s portal 24/7, so I’m highly visible when employees have questions. Since launching our COVID-19 Tracker, I’ve already answered almost 3,000 questions about it! The number one question type is “COVID-19 vaccine,” with 47% of Tracker questions about that in November alone.

What do we track?

I can help members whether they ask about testing, surcharges, vaccines, or status tracking. Just like if we were in a store searching for a specific item, I can direct employees directly to the Tracker, where they can input their vaccine type, dates, exemption status, documentation, or testing status. I can even help people when they’re using the MyChoice Mobile App, and they can store their vaccination cards there too, for easy reference or sending.

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Because my trainers work in-house, they really can keep me up to speed with mandates and other compliance updates. This year, I’ve learned all kinds of things—remember ARPA? (hint: COBRA subsidies) I helped out with that one, too. The best part of my job is helping employees get answers to their questions. Since September, 34% of my chats have been outside of our member services live representative hours. That’s hundreds of thousands of employees who had an answer about their benefits right when they needed it, without having to wait or interrupt their benefits manager’s evening.

Join me next month—um, make that next year—for some astonishing AE statistics. Right now, I’m getting ready to help members navigate all of their benefits that are effective on Jan. 1, 2022. In the meantime, find out more about the COVID-19 Tracker in this on-demand webinar.

Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year