If a company with a self funded plan wants to outsource the administrative responsibilities of the plan, it can purchase what is known as an Administrative Services Only (ASO) plan. This type of arrangement is usually with an insurance carrier that also provides fully insured coverage. Under an agreement like this, the company funds the claims payments but the ASO would handle the claims processing and billing. This is sometimes more complicated than it sound as sometimes an intimate knowledge of the plan document is required to make the decision regarding whether or not to pay a claim. Not all claims that are submitted are appropriate to pay.
Additional services sometimes covered by ASO plans can be to prepare an administration manual, communicate with employees, prepare reports for the plan administrators and for government compliance, and maintain accounting records.