Eighty-eight medical bills were assumed by one member of the Rams front office following a major surgery. Clueless as to how to sort through the circumstance, Alaine Brewer stepped in and said, “Send it to me, it’s no problem.”
By title, Brewer is the Benefits Administrator of the St. Louis Rams, but by occupation she is nothing short of a problem solver and advocate for the organization’s employees.
“Sometimes insurance issues are not very pleasant,” Brewer said. “They can be expensive and it can be a very tough road to walk.”
Simply put, her job is to manage the health insurance plans and work with players and staff on various insurance issues. For over 20 years, she has stepped out beyond the boundaries of her job description and advocated for Rams employees. Since she began working in benefits she’s helped her fellow co-workers save tens of thousands of dollars and appeal claims that were previously denied.
On the player side, her first priority is to ensure that players and their family are enrolled. From there, she works to simplify the complex nature of health insurance. Brewer assists with things as simple as ordering lost identification cards to more intricate scenarios such as getting medical procedures approved. She also holds annual meetings with the wives and girlfriends who have children with the players in order to explain their benefits.
“I try to be available whenever they have a need and I’m glad that people take me up on that,” Brewer said. “When you do insurance, you get to know the families and the children. We’ve become comfortable and established a relationship that they know that they can call me for anything and I’m there.”
While Brewer has hit her stride working in insurance, she originally envisioned a career in social work. She graduated from Marquette University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in social work and moved to California in 1984. After landing in Los Angeles she realized there was a scarcity of jobs in the field and the pay wasn’t enough to survive in southern California.
“I went to a temporary agency in Orange County just looking for a job,” Brewer said. “The office manager of the Rams had called the office manager of the temporary agency. They had a part-time job opening in public relations as an assistant. She called me in for an interview on Friday and I started Monday.”
Brewer’s first official day as a Rams employee was February 14, 1985. While Brewer worked part-time in public relations, a part-time vacancy in benefits opened and she assumed those responsibilities while maintaining her previous position. Over the years her role expanded as other departments requested her assistance.
She started off working in public relations in the mornings and benefits in the afternoons. Eventually the scouting department sought her help and she transferred into their branch, assisting in the mornings while hanging on to her afternoon role in benefits.
“I worked in scouting for eight years,” Brewer said. “I would call all of the prospective draft choices, know where they were going to be on draft day, and we used to always send their mothers flowers immediately. I worked the draft phone on draft day and then I would make the travel arrangements. We were one-stop shopping.”
Brewer also spent time working in administration back when the team participated in international football games. While she wore many different hats, the staff always knew who they could turn to when it came to insurance.
Despite the successes she attained in her career, the time came when she was ready to start a family. She subsequently decided to work part-time in order to be a full-time mother and wife to her five children – Robert, 26; Nick, 25; Alyssa, 22; and twins Molly and Megan, 20.
“They asked me what job I would like to hang on to and I said, ‘You know I can do insurance out of my home or in the office,’ so I kept insurance and I’m still doing that to this day,” Brewer said.
Currently, Brewer is creating wellness program for the Rams. The program looks to familiarize employees with the tools and resources that the team’s insurance provider offers. It also seeks to increase the staff’s understanding of their plan so they can maximize their benefits.
Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and listening to country music. Several years ago, she married Jeff, the treasurer of the St. Louis Rams, and with his daughter, Jen (28), they now are one big, active and happy family.
“Being a mom gives me the unspeakable privilege of shaping the soul and character of my children and the next generation,” Brewer said.
In addition to enhancing the lives of her children, Brewer takes pride in helping people through a Christian speaking ministry called Transformed Lives. Since she started ministering to others in 1996, she has been able to fulfill her life motto: “Honor God, help people.”
“I really enjoy helping people solve their problems,” Brewer said. “Life can be tough and I try to help them through. I truly care about what they’re going through and I’d like to make it as painless as possible.”