NASCO has been supporting jointly administered labor accounts with its FlexLink® product for more than ten years, and has had great success in growing both product capabilities and utilization over that time. NASCO currently has five Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® (BCBS) Plans taking advantage of FlexLink, with over one million members. The company is also connected to numerous TPAs and IT partners, and is a strategic alliance with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) National Labor Office. NASCO’s FlexLink product provides a collaborative claims processing arrangement between the NASCO BCBS Plan and the labor fund or its third-party administrator. Recently, BCBS Plans have expressed an increased interest in using a self-administered option for claims processing for their current jointly administered accounts. This interest has opened the door for NASCO to offer other products and capabilities to both BCBS Plans and the funds and provide them with ultimate flexibility and customization in implementing their labor solutions. NASCO recently had an opportunity to speak with a BCBS Plan regarding their use of what has been referred to as a joint administration model. In this plan’s joint administration model, the fund not only receives the benefits of NASCO’s FlexLink product, but it also gains direct access to the NASCO claims system. “The [joint administration] model preserves fund office FTEs, offers a degree of personalization and eliminates cost burdens around training and IT enhancements. It is particularly beneficial for those funds that are looking to self-administer benefits or those that may be grappling with older systems and technology,” the BCBS Plan said. In addition to a 10,000-member beta account previously implemented using the joint administration model, the BCBS Plan and NASCO recently implemented the same model for a large labor client of the plan— effective Jan. 1, 2018. This particular labor client represents a large, diverse fund with more than 50,000 members. The joint administration model was of interest because the fund was in need of a claims system that had national account-type capabilities as well as the ability to grow and handle their growth over time. NASCO provided a platform that could sustain the fund as they moved forward. ”In the [joint administration] model, the fund receives direct access to the claims system, and [the BCBS Plan] provides all of the training and support,” said the BCBS Plan. “The fund also is integrated directly into the [plan’s] provider network, which is extremely important.” With this solution, the benefit is not having to lease another system. The fund is kept current with mandates and enhancements and it has access to training and support for the NASCO claims system. In addition, it gains the assurance that its own member experience is as seamless as possible. The BCBS Plans benefit from knowing that technical and performance standards are being met through the fund having direct access to one of their systems. “We will continue to promote and target this [joint administration] model for our larger self-administered funds,” said the BCBS Plan. “We have found the experience to be a very positive one in terms of client retention and developing a deeper relationship with the funds.” For further information regarding NASCO’s labor solutions, please contact Bob Meier, Director of Marketing and Communications for NASCO, at Bob.firstname.lastname@example.org or 678.441.6104.