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Feb 15, 2021

Employers and Health Plans Solve Pandemic-Era Health and Benefits Administration Challenges Through Technology

Benefitfocus platform delivers administrative ease with direct impact on health care costs; customer satisfaction exceeds industry standards

CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a review of performance metrics and customer feedback, Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), an industry-leading benefits technology platform that simplifies benefits administration for employers, health plans and brokers, shares several key findings from its most recent open enrollment (OE) period. The findings demonstrate the value of a comprehensive benefits platform solution that provides employers and health plans with greater administrative efficiencies and enables lower health care costs.

Highlights of the findings include:

  1. Increased purchases of hospital indemnity and voluntary life insurance offerings by consumers, believed to be driven by the health impact of COVID-19
  2. Adjustments to enrollment and management practices, including payment methods, to address changes in the financial condition of both employers and employees
  3. Elevated use of multi-channel communications to employees, reflecting the rise in remote working and acceptance of digital forms of communications
  4. Greater adoption of multi-channel engagement techniques to serve the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce.

"The most recent OE season demonstrated that our platform and the services associated with it solved our customers' challenges. In many ways, it was our best OE ever," said Steve Swad, president and CEO of Benefitfocus. "Our investments to achieve operational excellence significantly improved our customers' experience. Employers and health plans were able to increase the efficiency of their operations to meet the needs of their employees and members. I am particularly proud of the high levels of customer satisfaction our team earned."

Benefitfocus' CSO team received a customer satisfaction (CSAT) score of over 93 percent, well above the industry standard of 80-85 percent. During the final four months of 2020, just under 16 million people completed their open enrollment selection of benefits using Benefitfocus' services.

Observations from 2020

Hospital Indemnity and Voluntary Life Offerings
With COVID-19 affecting millions of Americans, employers sought additional benefits to help employees confront the impact of a pandemic that often led to hospitalization. Benefitfocus saw a significant increase in hospital indemnity benefits and voluntary life insurance offerings and enrollments through its Benefit Catalog.

Adjustments to Enrollment and Management Practices
Numerous employers were forced to reduce operations or temporarily shut down and many small businesses faced a cash flow shortage. They needed alternatives to premium payment methods to continue to provide coverage for their employees. One solution adopted by benefits administrators and health plans was to add credit cards to the list of payment options.

Elevated Use of Multi-Channel Communications
With fewer in-person discussions, employers needed other ways to answer employees' questions about enrollment decisions. Numerous employers turned to chat capabilities. A leading real estate investment trust increased chat utilization by more than 80 percent, while a major food producer converted 90 percent of employee enrollment interactions to chat.

Meeting the Needs of an Increasingly Diverse Workforce
With benefits decisions taking on greater urgency in such a turbulent year, meeting the needs of users across demographic and generational groups was vital and placed a greater emphasis on creating a seamless enrollment process, especially when dealing with large numbers of users. A major higher education system conducted its first OE on the Benefitfocus platform, with 65,000 people — both employees and retirees — going through enrollment. More than 80 percent of the system's 45,000 survey respondents gave the highest satisfaction scores to their benefits experience.

Market-Leading Performance
Benefitfocus has a distinct line-of-sight into the enrollment and administration practices of over 150,000 employers in the United States, representing over 25,000,000 Americans served through a health plan issuer or directly with benefits providers.

Benefitfocus' successful support of employers and health plans during the peak OE period at the end of the calendar year provides lessons learned through product and service delivery. Namely, that a massive user base can engage successfully on the platform throughout the year, especially via health plans. These trends will be prominently discussed during the company's upcoming annual industry conference, One Place 2021, on March 2 & 3.

Resources to Evaluate Open Enrollment
Benefitfocus is committed to enhancing the year-round benefits enrollment experience and the full range of activity across the benefits ecosystem. It offers a Resource Center to help health plans and employers apply the best practices for planning, executing and monitoring their benefits programs, and drive change across the benefits industry. Its OE-specific content includes a scorecard evaluate OE performance and expert insight outlining the criteria to use to determine if it met targeted goals.

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About Benefitfocus 
Benefitfocus (NASDAQ: BNFT) unifies the entire benefits industry through innovative technology solutions that bring efficiency, cost savings and simplicity to employee benefits administration. Our powerful cloud-based software, data-driven insights and thoughtfully designed services help employers, insurance brokers, health plans and suppliers address the complexity of benefits enrollment and engagement, while bringing easier access to health, wealth and lifestyle products through a world-class benefits experience. Our mission is simple: to improve lives with benefits. Learn more at www.benefitfocus.com, LinkedIn and Twitter.

DISCLAIMER REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS 
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: volatility and uncertainty in the global economy and financial markets in light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainties arising from the recent U.S. elections; our continuing losses and need to achieve GAAP profitability; fluctuations in our financial results; our ability to maintain our culture, retain and motivate qualified personnel; the immature and volatile market for our products and services; risks related to changing healthcare and other applicable regulations; risks associated with acquisitions; cyber-security risks; the need to innovate and provide useful products and services; our ability to compete effectively; privacy, security and other risks associated with our business; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in our SEC filings, copies of which are available free of charge within the Investor Relations section of the Benefitfocus website at http://investor.benefitfocus.com/sec-filings or upon request from our Investor Relations Department. Benefitfocus assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

 

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SOURCE Benefitfocus, Inc.

Benefitfocus, Inc., 843-981-8898, pr@benefitfocus.com