Benefit Focus Participation Increases Benefits With Enhanced Enrollment Experience

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 Benefitfocus, Inc. , a leading cloud-based benefits management platform and services provider, announced today the results of its year-long pilot program designed to increase employee benefits engagement and participation. The program, launched in August 2018 targeting the company’s over 1,400 employees, was established to create a world-class benefits enrollment experience, test and perfect employee engagement activities and drive better benefits utilization.

Coined “Customer #1,” the program focuses on three primary objectives:

  1. Maximizing benefits participation during the traditional open enrollment (OE) window
  2. Increasing adoption of new voluntary benefits during post-OE, off-cycle periods
  3. Understanding employee needs and gaps through regular surveys and the company’s total well-being initiative.

During the traditional OE two-week window, the company saw a significant increase in participation in high deductible health plans (HDHPs) with a 72 percent adoption rate, which is more than double the national average range of 25 to 35 percent. Through creative communications, employee contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) also increased by 27 percent. Participants in HDHPs also had a higher adoption rate of voluntary income protection products, like accident insurance (31% enrollment), critical illness (36% enrollment) and hospital indemnity plans (40% growth). The company will review results and share insights during its upcoming customer advisory councils to help guide customers’ benefits participation strategies.

“We created our Benefitfocus Customer #1 program to demonstrate the gold standard of how employers who utilize our BenefitsPlace platform can fully optimize the tools and services available to drive significantly higher benefits engagement and adoption – and do so throughout the entire year,” comments Misty Guinn, Director of Benefits & Wellness at Benefitfocus. “With our mobile app and consumer tools, like Smart Moments*, we can be intentional in how we engage with our employees during off-cycle periods. For instance, we launched a student loan refinancing benefit after OE, with an ongoing enrollment window, and achieved the highest participation rate of all Benefitfocus customers nationally who offered that plan.”

Guinn continues, “Voluntary benefits aren’t just ‘add-ons’ to traditional employee benefits; they are complete solutions that work together in a total wellness benefits portfolio. While we experienced significant adoption of voluntary income protection products during our official OE at Benefitfocus, other employers who use BenefitsPlace could easily roll-out off-cycle programs to drive higher participation. As employers serve five generations in the workforce together, the benefits industry needs to transition to a 52-week benefits approach, not just the two-week open enrollment period.”

Benefitfocus plans to roll-out additional voluntary benefits to its employees as part of its ongoing Customer #1 initiative. Based on employee feedback through its total well-being surveys, future off-cycle benefits may include property insurance offerings, emotional wellness and mental health benefits, lifestyle benefits and other financial wellness benefits.

To support employers in achieving open enrollment success, Benefitfocus offers a free OE Success Kit. The kit provides tools, resources and best practice guides across all areas of OE. Since its inception, the OE Success Kit has focused primarily on open enrollment communication. Now in its fourth year, the focus has expanded to year-round success with tools and resources for all stages of OE from planning to communication, execution and more. Download the free kit here.

Smart Moments is a company-defined term describing new moments powered by Benefitfocus BenefitSAIGE™ artificial intelligence engine that have been added to the platform’s Smart Moments library to connect consumers to their benefit options in the moments that matter 52 weeks a year.  Smart Message content is being automatically loaded for key BenefitsPlace products for easy employer enablement.

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