Absence & Disability

We addressed a telecommunications client’s absence management issues through an innovative strategy that resulted in significant improvements, including reduced errors, enhanced training, and improved efficiency across all metrics.

Current State

A 60,000-employee telecommunications/wireless client was experiencing significant issues with leave-of-absence reporting from its newly appointed vendor. The managers of each business unit were seeing negative impacts due to a lack of knowledge regarding leave and return-to-work dates. Further, local HR professionals were inundated with employee complaints about claims service deficiencies.

Issues Addressed

Poor design and execution of the absence management model and failure to align the model with the needs of multiple business units and employee populations.

Innovative Strategy

ABC worked with our client and their chosen vendor to:
  • Document process flows for every conceivable absence event
    • Addressed STD, FMLA, Statutory Plans, Paid Family Leave Plans, ADA, Company Leave Plans, and Military Leaves
  • Developed a process to listen to recorded customer service calls weekly to gauge the competency of dedicated Customer Service Representatives
  • Assessed the vendor’s staffing model to determine if they assigned the right number of people with the right skill sets for our client
  • Assessed the vendor’s staff training process design and execution
  • Completed an end-to-end audit of 150 leave and disability claims
  • Developed and monitored a weekly dashboard of over 20 key metrics, including call center and timeliness metrics, as well as new and backlog activity, etc.
  • Worked with the vendor to develop a remediation plan based on the results of our efforts noted above


We deployed our expert consulting team using the following ABC-developed/enhanced tools: project management, document sharing technology, process mapping, audit tools, claim team staffing guidelines, and customer service call monitoring guides. What differentiates ABC’s approach from others? It’s not just the tools, but the team we use to deploy them, analyze the results, and effect improvements.

For this client, in addition to their existing team of three senior consultants and additional support (actuarial, underwriting, communications, etc.), we added three additional senior staff, with direct disability and leave management expertise, ranging from 10+ to 30+ years of experience, across multiple firms — at no additional expense.


After a thorough review of our findings, we advised our client to:
  • Refine the claim management and reporting process.
  • Make both additions and deletions to the dedicated claim team including Customer Service.
  • Modify the vendor’s claim system to support increased automation.


The results of our efforts have included:

  • Revisions to the design of the claims management model
  • Dramatically reduced claims processing errors
  • Refined Performance Guarantees
  • Enhanced claim team training
  • Improved local HR satisfaction
  • Achievement of target or better across all metrics, including:
    • 50% improvement in abandon rate and call waiting times
    • 50% improvement in timeliness of returned calls
    • 60% improvement in timeliness of decisions

Request a Consultation

Like any great relationship, ours will start by getting to know your business. We’ll listen to what your benefit needs are and then work to find a suite of solutions that matches your objectives.

Allana Agard

Business Analyst

Allana joined Alliant in June 2022 as a Business Analyst I/Website Quality Assurance Analyst. In her role, she gathers data, analyzes requirements, and documents specifications for new systems processes and enhancements.


Allana has worked as a Business Analyst for 5+ years and has extensive experience in the Healthcare/Insurance industry for 10+ years.

Tara Emerich

Account Associate

Tara joined Alliant/ABC in 2021. Her responsibilities include investigating and resolving client and employee issues, preparing client invoices and reporting, and auditing enrollment and payroll files.

She has previously worked in the ABC call center and prior to that has 20+ years’ experience working with a variety of insurance lines.

Tara is licensed in Accident, Health, and Life insurance.

Tai Scott

Account Associate

Tai joined Alliant/ABC as an Account Associate in 2016 and is now an Account Associate II for the Voluntary Benefits Operations Team. Some of her responsibilities include processing and auditing the internal payroll processes and files, processing invoice payments to vendors, and assisting in implementation of new clients. 

Tai has held various roles in the health insurance and benefits industry for 7 years prior to coming to Alliant/ABC including processing COBRA, Coordination of Benefits & FSA statements and billing

Tai has a BA in Human Biology from Temple University and is a licensed broker in Life, Accident and Health.


Debbie Amador

Project Manager

Debbie joined Alliant/ABC in 2002. Her responsibilities include coordinating projects, managing project implementation plans as well as ongoing process improvement support for the Voluntary Benefits Operations Team. She has held various roles with her tenure at Alliant/ABC including client management, health and productivity development, and operations.


Debbie has a BA in Business Marketing from Western Washington University and is licensed in life and disability.

Brandi Coomes

Account Associate

Brandi joined Alliant/ABC in 2022. Her main responsibilities
include client file management and overall daily support of client
relationship. Brandi’s prior experience includes work as a program coordinator
and licensed insurance agent.

Brandi has a BS from LeTourneau University and is licensed
in Accident & Health and Life.

Arnaldo Desire

Benefit Advocate

Arnaldo joined Alliant/ABC in 2008. His role in the company is a Benefits Representative for the VB team. He provides customer service, professional support and guidance to client HR contacts and employees. In addition, he is responsible for client communications and client file management. With over 16 years of experience at ABC, he also worked on the Employee Benefits team.

Danielle K. Rainone

First Vice President – Consultant

Danielle joined ABC in March of 2014. She has been in the employee benefits field for more than 20 years, starting her career in sales of Retirement and Healthcare products. In 2000, she joined MetLife and held various leadership roles in key areas, including eBusiness, Sales Productivity and an International expat assignment in London. In 2008, Danielle joined CIGNA as leader of the Group Insurance Account Management and Service Operations organization, including Client Management, Implementation, Contracts and Eligibility. Most recently she was the VP of National Accounts Client Management at Prudential, leading a team managing a $3B+ block of Life and Disability business.

Danielle earned her BA in Marketing from Georgetown University.

Daniel Norton

Senior Manager, Executive Benefits

Dan joined ABC in 2007. He manages the team responsible for the implementation and day-to-day administration of our Executive Benefits plans. Dan has a BA in Business Management from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is licensed in life, accident, and health.

Michael R Grippo

Executive Benefits & Administration Systems

Mike has been at ABC since 1990, implementing and administering non-qualified executive benefit plans on behalf of some of America’s largest companies. Prior to joining ABC, he worked for a major life insurance company and a brokerage firm for over 10 years, where he gained expertise in actuarial software development, advanced underwriting, and life insurance product and competitive analysis.

Mike has a BS degree in actuarial science from the College of Insurance.

Jeffrey Jones

Executive Vice President

Jeff Jones is an Executive Vice President and Group Benefits Practice Leader. Jeff has been in the insurance and benefits industry since 1986. His responsibilities at ABC include Group Life and Disability/Leave Management practice lead, business development, client relationship management, and Executive Disability practice lead.

Jeff has a BA in Economics from Ursinus College.

Craig Guiffre

Executive Vice President/Managing Director

Craig has over 40 years’ experience in the Group Benefits industry and joined ABC in 2010 to oversee the consulting practices, administration, technology, and compliance areas. Today, he also leads Alliant’s National Absence, Disability and Life practice. He began his career with MetLife where he served in various sales, marketing, and operational capacities including head of National Accounts, Chief Marketing Officer for Institutional Business, and Senior Vice President and P&L owner for their Group businesses. He held a similar role at Guardian Life where he was responsible for the Group Life, Accident, and Disability lines of business as well as the Marketing organization and key technology initiatives. Most recently, Craig was Senior Vice President at CIGNA where he managed the Group Insurance sales, Account Management, and Product Development organizations.

Craig received his BS from Lehigh University and his MBA from Manhattan College.

Eric Levy

Executive Vice President/Senior Managing Director

Eric joined ABC in 2003 following a career leading Compensation and Benefits functions for several Fortune 500 companies. Eric has more than 30 years’ experience in the HR and Employee Benefits field. Eric has responsibility for overall leadership and growth, as well as shared business development responsibilities for ABC. In addition, he leads the East Region for Alliant Employee Benefits and holds national practice leadership roles for Alliant including voluntary benefits. Eric also maintains active consulting and relationship roles with many of ABC’s key clients. Prior to joining ABC, Eric was the SVP – Compensation & Benefits for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Eric also held senior Compensation and Benefit leadership positions for PepsiCo, Tambrands Inc., and HomeGrocer.com.

Eric has an undergraduate degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and an MBA in Finance from the Stern School of Business at NYU.