Benefitfocus Study Uncovers over Half of Large Employers Now Offer High-Deductible Health Insurance Plans (HDHPs); Millennials Top Takers

First-of-its-kind report looks at data from 500 employers and more than 700,000 employees

CHARLESTON, S.C.--()--Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), a leading provider of cloud-based benefits management software, today released its inaugural “Benefitfocus State of Employee Benefits 2016,” a snapshot of real, but anonymous, benefit selection data from more than 700,000 people at 500 large employers. The in-depth study, which used actual behavioral data rather than self-reported data analyzed in typical surveys, shows that 52 percent of large employers on the BENEFITFOCUS® Platform now offer high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). This is illustrative of a larger trend: companies are altering their plan design to shift greater financial responsibility to employees, driving the need for a different approach to health care consumption.

One of the most significant findings was that millennials—born between 1980 and 1989—selected HDHPs more than any other age group. However, while approximately 44 percent of employees in this group chose HDHPs, a much smaller number of these employees took full advantage of health savings accounts (HSAs), leaving a significant amount of tax-free money on the table that could offset high deductibles.

In addition, the report found that large employers on the Benefitfocus Platform should be well positioned to navigate the Cadillac tax to be levied on higher-cost health care plans in 2020 under the Affordable Care Act. Total premiums across all 2016 plans averaged $14,974 for family coverage and $6,096 for individual coverage—both well below the tax’s respective target thresholds of $27,500 and $10,200.

Potentially crucial voluntary benefits are also lacking among large employers. Critical illness, hospital indemnity and accident insurance are common products that can give employees—particularly HDHP participants—added financial protection when they encounter unexpected medical expenses. However, only 36 percent of large employers offered such voluntary benefits for 2016, and only 14 percent of employees actually enrolled.

“This report marks a new era in employee benefits. With sophisticated enterprise benefits management systems like the Benefitfocus Platform, we can now draw meaningful insights from actual employee behavior,” said Shawn Jenkins, Benefitfocus CEO. “This is a quantum leap forward for CHROs, CFOs, administrators and all of us working to turn benefits into a strategic asset. This report provides a road map for policymakers looking to expand health care coverage while controlling costs.”

Large employers, insurance carriers and brokers are gathering in Orlando, Florida, March 8–10, for the annual Benefitfocus user conference, One Place, where they will discuss the report findings and implications for the future of benefits strategy.

Study Methodology

The “Benefitfocus State of Employee Benefits 2016” report analyzed anonymized benefit selection data from Benefitfocus’ data warehouse. This report includes data from over 700,000 records across the Fall 2015 open enrollment period from 500 large employers, all with 1,000 or more employees.

About Benefitfocus

Benefitfocus (NASDAQ: BNFT) provides a leading cloud-based benefits management platform that simplifies how organizations and individuals shop for, enroll in, manage and exchange benefits. Every day leading employers, insurance companies and millions of consumers rely on our platform to manage, scale and exchange benefits data seamlessly. In an increasingly complex benefits landscape, we bring order to chaos so our clients and their employees have access to better information, make better decisions and lead better lives. Learn more at www.benefitfocus.com, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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: the need to innovate and provide useful products and services; changes in government regulations; the immature and volatile nature of the market for our products and services and other factors that could impact our anticipated growth; management of growth; fluctuations in our financial results; general economic risks; reliance on key personnel; our ability to compete effectively; our ability to maintain our culture and recruit and retain qualified personnel; 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.cfm 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.

Contacts

Benefitfocus, Inc.
Joan Damico, 843-284-1052 ext. 3527
pr@benefitfocus.com

Contacts

Benefitfocus, Inc.
Joan Damico, 843-284-1052 ext. 3527
pr@benefitfocus.com