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Posted by Alexandre Timothy, Group Insurance and Group Annuity Plans Advisor, May 30 2018
Plan Administration
AGA: The Leader In Group Insurance Plans Administration


Are you wondering what makes AGA Benefit Solutions unique compared to other brokers?

Our extensive benefits expertise is evidently a factor, but our AGA +Plus service are undoubtedly our key differentiator. Indeed, AGA is a TPA/TPP, i.e. a third-party administrator and a third-party payer. In other words, beyond our role as benefits advisors, we handle plan administration and claims payment in place of insurance companies.

This business model allows us to deliver several advantages to employers and their administrators as well as to their employees.

This year, we are celebrating AGA’s 40th anniversary, and we want to tell you the exciting story behind our AGA +Plus services and how we became the leading group insurance plans administration firm in Quebec.

The early days of manual processing

AGA started administering group insurance plans in the late 1970s. Back then, everything was done by hand: premium calculations, cheques, and even claim reimbursement calculations.

In the early 1980s, we began using automated systems. However, one could hardly speak of “automation”, when everything was still processed manually, even benefit calculations. In fact, our first computer tools were only used to print cheques!

Let there be computers!

It was not until around 1985 that automation allowed us to take a leap forward: all the information was entered into a database and calculations were finally done by computers, significantly reducing errors.

AGA took another giant step in the mid-1990s, when our IT team implemented the SARAGA software program after a 4-year needs analysis and R&D effort. This software, which is still widely used today, could almost be viewed as AGA’s bible! All our data is centralized in SARAGA, including our clients and their members, their insurer(s), coverage details, claims, and so on.

SARAGA is continually updated by our team of programmers with the support of our consultants. Whether it be as part of a major Kaizen project or through smaller improvements, our tool evolves with the needs of our team and our clients.

Tools in insurance plans that cater to client needs

Throughout the 2000s and beyond, AGA launched several technology tools that resulted in improved services for our ever-expanding client base. These include such breakthroughs as the pay card to be used at the pharmacy and the dentist’s office, and our Administrators Portal through which employers can quickly and easily view or change their employees’ data and access their invoices or any other relevant information.

In 2014, AGA also introduced a Members Portal with several functionalities such as claims reimbursement with a photo of the receipt. More recently, AGA entered into a partnership with Equinoxe to offer a virtual clinic service.

A culture of continuous improvement

This short sketch of our history amply demonstrates that to remain the leading plan administration firm, we must never sit back on our successes! This is why we have developed a strong culture of continuous improvement within AGA. For several years now, not a month has passed without something being improved. We constantly seek feedback from our employees and clients, and we use this information to prioritize our improvement efforts.

Imitated, but never duplicated!

Some brokers try to add to insurance plans administration services to their business model, but you can’t just decide to become a TPA/TPP overnight! You must begin by setting up the necessary organizational structure (customer service, claims payment, implementation, etc.) along with all the required technology tools. Then, you need permission from insurers to handle the administration and claims payment in their stead, which typically requires a large business volume. The insurers also expect to be able to perform regular quality audits. And once all these hurdles have been crossed, you must ensure that your service level is up to par with the best insurers, or else what would be the use of dealing with a TPA/TPP?

Why should you choose AGA?

Not anybody can decide to administer plans in place of insurers. Our extensive experience and our commitment to continuous improvement are undoubtedly key to our success. Innovation is an important part of providing quality service to our clients and their employees.

You now have a better appreciation of the reasons why more than 1,000 businesses trust AGA with their group insurance plans! Should you want to learn more about our services or even visit our offices, please do not hesitate to contact us or leave your contact information below.

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Holder of a Corporate Finance degree from HEC Montréal, Alexandre Timothy has been passionate about sales, business development and employee benefits throughout his career. This passion and his fresh take on the industry make him go the extra mile to help businesses offer the very best to their employees. He thrives on developing new partnerships and unhesitatingly steps out of his comfort zone to learn more effectively and keep moving forward. His philosophy consists in enjoying work and improving as a team, because the success of each depends on the success of all! An elite player, Alexandre contributes to AGA’s growth by creating added value for clients and insured members alike.
Alexandre Timothy, Group Insurance and Group Annuity Plans Advisor