Anticipating the increase in age of covered dependents to 26 starting in 2011, as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the benefits team at Dick's Sporting Goods decided to clean the company's benefit rolls data with a dependent eligibility audit before this provision went into effect and before annual enrollment in the fall of 2010.

A large undertaking, the audit had to be carefully planned. Yet even with strategic preparation, the company was well behind the expected response rate by week three of the audit. Fortunately, the benefits team was able to come from behind and get employees to respond before the amnesty period ended. Ultimately, Dick's saved nearly $1.5 million in health care costs.

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