Since our inception in 1996, bswift's goal has been to use technology and information to simplify the administration of health care, reduce costs and empower consumers. In the beginning, we were known as Platinum Healthcare, a company that set out to change the world and transform healthcare by creating the first web-based CDH (Consumer-Driven Health) plan. In the process, we discovered that there was great market demand for an online benefits enrollment/administration system, so we built one. It worked pretty darn well. In fact, version 1.0 of our benefits enrollment system was a finalist out of 15,000 entrants in Microsoft's 1999 e-commerce system competition. Not bad, huh? So the company ran with it, changed its name to "bswift" and landed its first employer clients.
Today, bswift has millions of consumers on its system and offers software and services that streamline HR and benefits administration. We're the partner you can trust to help your HR and Benefits team discover the true business value of benefits administration.
Kerry has more than 20 years of experience in sales, benefits outsourcing, retirement services and consulting. As CEO & President, she is responsible for shaping bswift’s strategic vision, driving growth and ensuring the alignment of all business activities and operations. As former Senior Partner and Global Head of Sales & Marketing at Mercer, she was responsible for creating an integrated global marketing organization as well as developing a disciplined end-to-end sales process to drive growth. Prior to that role, Kerry led Mercer’s Benefits Outsourcing organization for the U.S. and Canadian markets. Before joining Mercer, she served as Senior Vice President, Director of Sales, at Wachovia Bank, where she organized and led small, core and large market sales teams across multiple channels of distribution. She has also held senior-level sales and client service positions at various financial and retirement institutions, including AllianceBernstein, Prudential Retirement Services, Strong Funds and Firstar Bank. Kerry has a BA from Lewis and Clark College and an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management.
Leslie is a senior business and operations leader with more than 30 years of experience in the Human Resources and Benefits industry. She has achieved great success managing large client accounts and creating and leading initiatives that improve delivery of client services. For bswift, Leslie is responsible for all operations, including implementation and client services activities. Prior to bswift, she was Chief Operating Officer for Xerox HR Solutions, a role that was created by the consolidation of Xerox’s benefits and HR outsourcing businesses. Leslie also held numerous leadership positions in her 23-year tenure at Aon Hewitt, including Senior Vice President Operations and HRO Global Business Leader. She has a BA in Political Science and Economics from Northwestern University and completed graduate work at The George Washington University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Brett brings to bswift more than 20 years of experience growing technology businesses. As the leader of bswift’s technology team, he is responsible for driving innovations and ensuring the security and integrity of bswift’s technological infrastructure. Prior to bswift, Brett was the founder and chief executive of Big Game Software, a consulting company that specializes in providing software development services and licensed applications to the sports and entertainment industry. At Big Game Software, Brett built a company that provided high-volume transaction, data analysis, real-time data processing and content management products. Previously, he led the Professional Services organization at Apropos Technology and held management roles with NEG Micon and APV Plc. Brett’s diverse experience includes software development, design, consulting and project management. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois.
Tracey has more than 15 years of experience managing large-scale programs in Fortune 100 organizations focusing on technology, operational improvement and organizational change. As the leader of bswift’s Channel Partner team, she is responsible for the processes, programs and personnel that ensure the success of bswift resellers, exchange partners and customers. Prior to joining bswift, Tracey served as Chief Operating Officer for Mobius Executive Leadership. Previously, Tracey held numerous management roles with JP Morgan Chase and Proxicom, with responsibilities spanning from technology development and change management to ongoing operations. She earned a BA in Classical Music from the New England Conservatory of Music.
Steve brings to bswift 20 years of experience in benefits administration and benefits technology, including expertise in both new client implementations and ongoing business operations. Steve leads bswift’s Client Services team and is responsible for managing key client relationships and grooming bswift talent. Prior to bswift, he held the positions of Director of Implementations and Vice President of Benefit Operations at Aon Hewitt. Earlier in his career, he held a sales role at CIGNA Healthcare in the National Accounts segment. Steve earned his BS in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
With more than 25 years of experience in the health insurance industry, Jan has worked with a variety of large national health care carriers, including Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield and TPAs. She has held senior management positions in provider relations, marketing, account management and human resources. As the head of bswift’s Human Resources, Jan has been leading the integration of bswift HR with Aetna since the acquisition was announced. Prior to the acquisition, Jan was responsible for all of bswift’s human resource functions including recruiting, talent management, and benefits. In her previous role at bswift, Jan led the Channel Partner team and was responsible for growing the business by more than twenty percent per year. She received a BA in Business and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.
Jodi has more than 20 years of experience in benefits administration with companies including Mercer and CitiStreet. At bswift, Jodi leads Consultant Relations, Business Development and Sales Support. Her primary focus is on new client opportunities, channel management and sales operations. Prior to bswift, Jodi was the Principal Director of Consultant Relations and Business Development for North American Sales at Mercer. Jodi’s considerable experience also included leading large business improvement initiatives and holding various roles in sales and client relationship management. Jodi has a BS in Business Administration and Management from the University of Phoenix.
Steffan’s background includes more than 20 years of marketing and strategy for companies in health care, benefits and high tech. For bswift, Steffan is responsible for marketing strategy, demand generation, sales enablement and brand development. He is an accomplished executive with a track record of transforming marketing for a variety of companies and driving strong growth. Previously, he was Vice President of Marketing for Navera, a startup that provides cloud-based education and decision support to help consumers navigate the new era of consumer-driven health care. Prior to Navera, Steffan was Vice President of Marketing at Stanley Healthcare, a division of Stanley Black & Decker. Steffan has also held marketing leadership positions at AeroScout, Lawson Software and Good Samaritan Health System. He received a BA from Swarthmore College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
At bswift, Dave is responsible for expanding relationships with new and existing customers as well as improving the effectiveness of the sales team. Prior to this role, he worked for Aetna for 20 years, serving in multiple sales and distribution leadership roles in the commercial and retiree businesses. For four years, he served as the primary developer of Aetna’s exchange business on third-party retiree platforms. During that time, Aetna realized tremendous growth across the entire portfolio of retiree plans on third-party exchanges. Dave has experience in multiple product lines, launching Aetna’s first small group HSA and HRA plans, first commercial individual plans and Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. He has a BS from Penn State University, University Park.
Don leads business development and carrier partner relationships for bswift’s marketplace and contributes to the development of consumer-facing technology, including bswift’s Ask Emma decision support tool. Don started as an insurance producer in 1997 and has held various sales, consulting and management positions at FirstWest Benefit Solutions, Beneficial Life and Aflac. Don also has significant legislative and regulatory experience and received a formal commendation from the Governor of Utah for outstanding work as a consultant to the state while helping establish a multi-carrier, employee-choice small business exchange prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Don has a BS from Brigham Young University.
Brad has more than 15 years of experience in health care, consumer products and technology. He leads bswift’s efforts to help clients and their employees better use their benefits and improve their health and is responsible for delivering on our promise to bend the health care cost curve. Prior to joining bswift, he was President of Safeway Health, a division of Safeway Inc. He built, led and sold many of Safeway’s health benefit innovations and grew Safeway Health into a profitable enterprise. Brad also spent many years as a strategy consultant with Booz & Company and Deloitte. He received his BS from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.
Mike has 15 years of strategy and solutions experience in the benefits administration industry. Mike currently leads bswift’s private exchange strategy across small group, middle market and large group segments. In his seven years at bswift, he has also served as Vice President of Exchange Solutions, Vice President of Product Management and Director of Operations, laying the foundation for bswift’s outsourcing capabilities, exchange technology configuration and insurance carrier business. Before joining bswift, Mike was a Vice President of Aon Consulting’s Employee Benefits Outsourcing practice, where he held technical, client management and project management roles. Mike earned a BA from Northwestern University.
Want to be a "bswift-er"?
bswift prides itself on having a fun, friendly and smart staff that goes the extra mile to get the job done right. We offer the excitement and opportunity of a young, fast-growing company with the stability of an experienced management team, a blue-chip client base, and a proven track record of success.
We're looking for motivated and goal-driven team members who do whatever it takes to make a company great. The reward is a fun, flexible and creative environment with ample opportunity for professional and personal growth. If you possess the bswift values of higher standards, greater accountability and more fun, we want to hear from you!
Watch this video to learn more about our culture:
Find your dream job at bswift.
"This is a growing company with an energetic workforce, and a fun and fast-paced environment. There is great opportunity to move up quickly in the organization if you are a 'rock star' and work hard."
- Cortnie Gill, Implementation Leader Joined bswift 6 years ago
"Our development team is made up of a diverse group of people with a wide array of programming skills and backgrounds. Combined with a great management team, the end result is a fun and flexible work environment."
- Rod Ganesan, Senior Managing Developer Joined bswift 6 years ago
Looking for ways to make your bswift experience even better? Check out these partners to further streamline your workload and enhance the employee experience. These partners provide bswift clients special product offerings, discounted pricing and streamlined administrative procedures. And as far as connecting goes, they help you get there more quickly and easily through single sign-on, web services and pre-configured import or export processes. Our partners offer a wide range of solutions for your insurance, payroll/HR and wellness needs.
Contracted Channel Partners across the United States have gone through extensive system and sales training and are able to provide more personalized service on a local level to groups of all sizes, including those with fewer than 1,000 employees. By combining the power of the bswift benefits administration platform along with insurance brokerage, payroll/HRIS, wellness, COBRA and Flex administration, technology consulting, billing and other outsourced services, these Channel Partners deliver compelling software and services at a more competitive price.
In the News
“Inside private benefit exchanges: Leaders’ vision for the future.” The demand for private exchanges is forecasted to grow exponentially in the coming years. Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift, weighs in with Employee Benefit Adviser, discussing the importance employee choice will play in the future of private benefit exchanges.
"Picking a Health Plan? An Algorithm Could Help." Sandy Sakaida, Director of Benefits, The Cheesecake Factory, and Rachel Emma Silverman of The Wall Street Journal discuss the benefits of using a decision support tool like Ask Emma. Sakaida says that the goal was that staff members “understood the options and chose the most appropriate plan for themselves and their families."
"17 private exchange leaders shaping the future of health care." Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift, was recognized by EBA Magazine as a top authority on the future of private benefit exchanges.
"4 strategies to consider now to avoid the Cadillac Tax." While the Cadillac Tax isn’t set to take effect until 2018, there isn’t much time left to implement changes in plan offerings in order to avoid it. Many employers are unsure how to bypass the tax, so our Senior Vice President, Don Garlitz, provided Employee Benefit Adviser with four strategies to consider when planning ahead.
"Savvy tools to help pick and choose." As employers continue to shift workers to consumer-directed health plans and private exchanges, more are offering technology-based decision support tools to help employees build and utilize a tailored benefits package.
"Total comp statements combine real-time power with old-school communication." Employee Benefit News discusses the increasing value of total compensation statements and how they can help prevent employees from fixating on base salary while providing a real-time look at their complete benefits package.
"Why resellers may have to turn away some future exchange business." Gary Wert, President, Apprize, discusses why he, like bswift, defines a private exchange as "tech-enabled choice"—and what that means for brokers.
"Business Coalition launches health insurance exchange." The Lehigh Valley Business Coalition of Healthcare has partnered with bswift and First Niagara Benefits Consulting to launch a private health insurance exchange for its 285,000 members.
"Obstacles remain in private HIX development." Watch as Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift, discusses why most employers aren’t yet adopting a private exchange model and if cost savings estimates are coming true.
"What does 'private exchange' actually mean?" Healthcare Drive features Rich Gallun, CEO, bswift, who notes that many employers are taking a phased approach to the adoption of exchange components, so there's a great deal of gray area in what private exchange means to different people.
"Benefits ‘ticket to the game’ of attraction, retention." It’s not always clear to new hires how benefits fit into their total rewards package. In this article, Andrea Davis revisits a panel discussion on recruiting, onboarding and retention and the role of benefits in total rewards held during bswift Summit 2015.
"Private exchanges are gaining popularity--but slowly." FierceHealthPayer discusses the results of bswift’s sixth annual Benefits Study—and what they mean for those tracking the rise of private exchanges.
"HIX enrollment numbers vary based on definition of exchange." In this Employee Benefit Adviser article, Rich Gallun, CEO, bswift, discusses the importance of definition when evaluating the prevalence of private exchanges.
"Affordable Care Act: Operations and Complications." Workforce features Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift, who discusses what a private exchange is—and isn’t—and how employers are changing their approach to health care coverage to comply with ACA requirements.
"Piquing Employers’ Interest in Private Exchanges." Workforce considers Aetna’s acquisition of bswift and employers’ interest in investing in private-exchange technology upfront to achieve cost savings in the long run.
"The year in exchanges: Where private exchanges go from here." In this Employee Benefit Adviser article, Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift, touches on the company’s brisk growth over the past several years.
"Aetna’s bswift Acquisition: A Sign of More to Come." In light of Aetna’s planned acquisition of bswift, industry experts are suggesting that this may be the start of a trend in companies acquiring private exchange companies.
"Aetna buys bswift: Why benefit brokers must pay attention." With the recent news of Aetna's plans to acquire bswift, Joe Markland of HR Technology Advisors shares why benefits brokers should start thinking differently.
“Aetna buys exchange technology company Bswift for $400 million.” Chicago Tribune and Reuters reports that Aetna plans to purchase bswift to help administer private health insurance exchanges for consumers and employees.
"Aetna to acquire benefits consultant Bswift for $400M." Matt Dunning of Business Insurance reports about Aetna's plans to acquire bswift and how it may broaden their presence in the private health insurance exchange marketplace.
"Girding for consumerization, Aetna buys an HIX." HealthPayerNews discusses Aetna's planned acquisition of bswift and how the addition of health care exchange technology and a defined contribution model can help retain current employer clients while attracting new ones.
“Aetna's $400 million buy moves it further into private exchanges.” Modern Healthcare features Aetna’s planned acquisition of bswift, which will help both companies serve more employers and exchanges who want to improve consumers' shopping experience for health insurance.
“Aetna Buys Exchange Technology Firm Bswift for $400 Million.” Fox Business and Reuters report on the recent news of Aetna’s plans to acquire bswift to help administer public and private health insurance exchanges.
"Chicago Health Care Tech Company Bswift Will Be Acquired for $400M." ChicagoInno reports on Aetna’s recent announcement of its plans to acquire bswift and offer its technology platform to help individuals decide on a health care plan.
“Aetna buys Chicago-based bswift for $400M.” The Associated Press and Chicago Sun-Times discuss Aetna’s plans to purchase bswift and how this could strengthen the push into a relatively small but growing area of employer-sponsored coverage.
“Aetna to Acquire bswift for $400 Million.” Workforce reports about Aetna’s plans to acquire bswift and how this move can generate the growing importance of HR and benefits technology firms in the health care space.
"Seven practical tips for a less stressful, more successful open enrollment." In the latest Employee Benefit News slideshow, bswift's Allison Malito, Vice President of Implementations, and Jill Steinberg, Senior Writer, share seven tips to make open enrollment easier and stress-free.
"Choosing a health plan? Look at more than premiums." In this interview on MarketWatch Radio Network, Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift, identifies key steps in evaluating health care options.
“WELLNESS: Outcomes-based wellness incentive use continues to rise.” Brad Wolfsen, Senior Vice President of bswift, explains how outcomes-based wellness incentives are increasing in popularity based on the data from the 2014 bswift Benefits Study.
"Retrofit bulks up corporate weight-loss effort with bswift." bswift teams up with Retrofit to offer a new weight-loss program on Springboard Marketplace. Crain's Chicago Business reporter John Pletz discusses the partnership.
"Frequently asked questions about private exchanges." Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift, provides answers to key questions from participants in our May webinar, "The Value Proposition of a Private Exchange."
"Chicago tech 1H funding hits all-time high." Built in Chicago's digital startup report reveals that Chicago tech funding has more than doubled in 2014 and features bswift's investment from Great Hill Partners.
"Digging in to private exchanges." Don Garlitz, Executive Director, bswift Exchange Solutions, provides his perspective on the value of private exchanges and how they can be adopted by employers as a vehicle for change.
"Wellness Plans Increasingly Feature Outcomes-Based Incentives, Survey Reveals." In the latest issue of Bloomberg BNA’s Human Resources Report, Brad Wolfsen, Executive Director, bswift Exchange Solutions, comments on outcomes-based wellness incentives according to findings in the recently released 2014 bswift Benefits Study.
Reproduced with permission from Human Resources Report, 32 HRR 628 (June 16, 2014). Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) www.bna.com
"bswift Releases Annual Benchmarking Study." The 2014 bswift Benefits Study is announced on InsuranceNewsNet.com, a trade publication for insurance agents and other professionals in the health, life and property/casualty industries.
"Survey: More Companies Offering Pay-for-Performance Incentives in Wellness Programs." EHS Today, an online resource with a focus on health and safety in the workplace, gives the 2014 bswift Benefits Study top billing in the publication’s Health section.
"bswift Benefits Survey." Kevin Roche, founder of The Healthy Skeptic – a news site devoted to health care – points to the 2014 bswift Benefits Study as a valuable report and covers a number of its key findings.
"bswift adds 20,000 square feet in West Loop." John Pletz of Crain's Chicago Business covers bswift's announcement to expand its office space to approximately 57,000 square feet to accommodate its rapidly growing workforce.
"With $51M in funding, bswift is expanding to over 400 employees this year." Built In Chicago reports on bswift’s rapid growth in both employee size and space. In 2014 alone, bswift will increase its headcount by 110 employees and add 20,000 square feet to its Chicago headquarters.
“Increasing number of employers want total compensation statements.” In this latest Employee Benefit Adviser podcast, Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, discusses the trends in transparency and flexibility around total compensation statements.
"Wellness incentives tied to improved worker health gaining popularity: Survey." Matt Dunning, Associate Editor, Business Insurance, focuses on key findings on wellness incentives and outcomes-based approaches as reported in the recently released 2014 bswift Benefits Study.
"6 of Chicago's fastest-growing tech companies - and how to get a job at them." bswift tops the list of six companies that Built in Chicago – a community of entrepreneurs, developers, marketers and designers – recognizes as key contributors to the city’s rapid tech growth.
"bswift Benefits From Health Care Reform Via Private Equity Investment." With the increasing complexity of the health care and benefits market, bswift is expanding rapidly to deliver innovative service and technology offerings. The recent investment of $51 million from private equity firm Great Hill Partners will support bswift’s continued growth.
“Midsize firms offered fewer choices of health exchanges.” Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, comments on the feasibility of multi-insurer exchanges appearing in the marketplace for mid-size employers.
“Health care firm bswift lands $51 million from private-equity fund.” Growing at a rate of 40% annually for the past four years, bswift will use the investment from Great Hill Partners to further strengthen its benefits technology offerings and meet the increasing demand for private exchanges.
"Will State Stumbles Extend Enrollment Deadlines?" Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, comments on the success of Connecticut’s state exchange, AccessHealth CT, which bswift works with as a technology partner, and how struggling states are looking to this model for their own exchanges.
"Employer mandate: No time to sit back and relax." The ACA's final rules add temporary delays and some flexibility, to give employers time to measure and analyze employee hours. bswift's Don Garlitz, Executive Director, Exchange Solutions, examines the details of the regulations.
"5 retail marketing lessons for health exchange brokers." Brad Wolfsen, bswift's Executive Director, Exchange Solutions, highlights how companies developing health care exchanges can apply the hard-earned lessons of consumer retail to the benefits-selection process.
"Cigna launch spurs question: What is a private exchange, anyway?" On the heels of bswift’s introduction of its Springboard Marketplace, Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, discusses the power of single-carrier exchanges.
"bswift launches private health exchange," discusses bswift's new private exchange, Springboard Marketplace. Based on a defined contribution model, the exchange streamlines benefits year round and includes ancillary and voluntary benefits offered through leading carriers.
"bswift launches private exchange for health and voluntary benefits." Matt Dunning of Business Insurance provides an exclusive of bswift’s new private exchange, Springboard Marketplace, featuring carriers Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America, Unum Group, MetLife Inc. and Assurant Inc.
"Don’t Be Sidelined by ACA Delay: Act Now to Avoid ‘Play or Pay’ Flag" With penalties slated to be assessed starting next Jan. 1, there’s plenty of work for employers to do. Mary Bauman, attorney at Miller Johnson, and Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, share their insight on how employers can prepare now.
"Lessons learned from our switch to a DC health plan." With employee benefits evolving, Don Garlitz, bswift’s Executive Director, Exchange Solutions, offers key insights on shifting to a defined contribution strategy.
"HHS Says Most Enrollment Problems Are Fixed; Other Issues Begin to Surface."An article discussing how, despite the fixed glitches with the HealthCare.gov website, there may still be some issues on the horizon. Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, comments on how adding a dependent in the middle of the year (i.e., through a life event) may cause additional issues to tax credit amounts, eligibility, and billing for the enrollee.
“5 lessons benefits administrators can learn from retail marketing.” Brad Wolfsen, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, shares tips on how benefit administrators can take a cue from retail to engage employees and develop positive benefit shopping experiences.
“Outcomes-based programs not widely adopted,” reports on the findings in bswift’s 2013 Wellness & Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study. Rich Gallun, bswift CEO, and Brad Wolfsen, Executive Director of Exchange Solutions, also share their insight on wellness trends, benefits administration, and defined contribution.
“Expedited ACA Website Bidding Limited Choice of Contractors.” Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, shares his insight on why some companies were hesitant to bid for the Obama administration’s exchange website. He says: “It is very costly to bid and lose. As a result, you typically deal with very large companies, (such as CGI) since it is very complicated.”
“Employers could face litigation for excluding benefits to opposite-sex domestic partners,” talks about the rules employers must follow regarding benefits for legally married same-sex couples. Don Garlitz, Executive of bswift Exchange Solutions, comments: “A large percentage of our client base is made up of multistate employers, and I think it would be hard for them to offer domestic partner coverage to some employees in some states and not to others.”
“Small-group employers look to individual exchanges over SHOP,” discusses how many employers are considering individual exchanges instead of Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges. Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, comments that the window shopping experience needs to improve if SHOP exchanges want to succeed.
“What to Expect After Oct. 1,” an article discussing what the opening day of the public health care exchanges will bring. Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, share his comments, including “I don't think [employers] are losing sleep over it right now. My sense is that they're in a little bit of ... wait-and-see mode.”
“Computer Bugs Not Expected to Infest Enrollment.” Despite reports of technical glitches in the federally facilitated exchanges, experts in the industry offer a broader view. Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, shares his thoughts on exchanges stating that they could “bring in other lines of business” like the private HIX model has done for other benefits.
"Employers Embracing Wellness Programs, But Many Plans Come Up Short, Survey Finds." Brad Wolfsen, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, comments on the positive impact of incentives to increase participation in wellness programs. The article also cites bswift’s 2013 Wellness & Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study. Reproduced with permission from Human Resources Report, 31 HRR 993 (Sept. 23, 2013). Copyright 2013 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) www.bna.com
"Employers Embracing Wellness Programs, But Many Plans Come Up Short, Survey Finds." Brad Wolfsen, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, comments on the positive impact of incentives to increase participation in wellness programs. The article also cites bswift’s 2013 Wellness & Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study.
Reproduced with permission from Human Resources Report, 31 HRR 993 (Sept. 23, 2013). Copyright 2013 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) www.bna.com
“Measure Now to Avoid a Flag on 'Play or Pay'.” Although many employer mandates were delayed, there’s still plenty of work employers need to do. Mary Bauman, attorney at Miller Johnson, and Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, share their insight on how employers can prepare for ACA.
“Wellness Initiatives Can Reduce Employer Health Care Costs,” discusses the benefits of using employee wellness programs and technology to cut costs for employers. The article also references the findings in bswift’s 2013 Wellness & Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study.
“Study: Wellness best practices neglected,” reports on the significant wellness methods being overlooked that could help increase employee engagement and lower the bottom line. This article also cites bswift’s 2013 Wellness & Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study.
“Employers mull defined contribution model for employee benefits,” discusses how some employers are considering transitioning to a defined contribution financing structure for group benefits and cites bswift’s 2013 Wellness and Benefits Administration Benchmarking Survey.
“Employers embrace wellness but employees don’t,” cites bswift’s 2013 Wellness & Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study and discusses the importance of driving employee participation in wellness programs.
“How to Improve Workplace Wellness Program Participation,” references bswift’s 2013 Wellness & Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study and focuses on how employers are increasing employee engagement in wellness.
“The Lowdown on New ACA Fees,” co-authored by Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, and Mary Bauman, employee benefits attorney at Miller Johnson, answers the questions surrounding two new charges for health benefits plan sponsors.
"My Benefits Manager Told Me, You Better ‘SHOP’ Around." This recent article mentions how Connecticut's health exchange, administered by partners HealthPass New York and bswift, is one of the few states offering multiple employee plans and coverage choices this fall.
"Greater Private Exchange Presence Eyed As CT Hires HealthPass For SHOP," an article discussing what's to come with SHOP and private exchanges. The article mentions Access Health CT's partnership with HealthPass and bswift for its own SHOP exchange and bswift's 15+ years of experience in the health care and benefits administration marketplace.
“Federal HIX delays SHOP choices until 2015,” discusses how states with their own insurance exchange marketplace are moving forward with small business health options for 2014. The article mentions bswift’s partnership with Access Health CT and HealthPass. Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, says of the delay, “It is very complicated and I can see, if you don’t have all that quite figured out, a delay might be in order. It could be somewhat technological, it could be some aspect of carrier reluctance.”
“Four Myths about Private Health-Care Exchanges.” Don Garlitz, Executive Director of bswift Exchange Solutions, debunks the top four myths surrounding private health exchanges and what employers of 50 or more employees plan to do in 2014.
"Despite CMS delay, CT moves forward with HIX SHOP," an article about Access Health CT's decision to utilize HealthPass and bswift's private exchange services and technology for small businesses throughout Connecticut.
"Connecticut Partners with HealthPass to Set the Standard for State Health Exchanges," discusses Access Health CT's announcement to use HealthPass New York and bswift to build the front-end administrative platform for its Small Business Health Options (SHOP).
“HealthPass goes SHOP-ing in Connecticut,” an article about Access Health CT’s announcement to use HealthPass New York and bswift to provide the front-end and administrative platform for its small-business exchange.
"Connecticut to proceed with small business health insurance exchange," reports on Access Health CT's selection of HealthPass and bswift to operate its SHOP exchange, scheduled to open in October 2013.
"Good Design Is Good Business. Just Ask Morningstar." catches up with two speakers from bswift Summit 2012, Bevin Desmond, President of International Operations and Global Human Resources, Morningstar, and Barbara Armstrong, Principal, Kahler Slater.
"Embrace Exchange," an article about the new opportunities with exchanges. Joe Thomas, Vice President of Sales at bswift, comments: "We're working with numerous CIAB members to help them create their own private exchanges that allow them to provide competitive solutions to what the public exchanges are going to be offering."
"bswift to add 100 jobs downtown in next 3 years," an article about Chicago Mayor Emanuel's recent announcement on bswift's anticipated job growth and partnership with Skills for Chicagoland's Future.
"Former HHS Sec. Mike Leavitt hawks new breed of health exchange," announces Leavitt Partners' "Exchange in a Box" pitch for states rushing to meet tight federal deadlines. bswift, among a few other big-name software and health companies, have committed to develop the technology.
"Q&A with HealthPass NY: Decade-old small biz HIX prepares for 2014 market," a recent interview with Vince Ashton, HealthPass New York CEO, discusses its past, future, and bswift’s role as the provider for exchange technology and services: “HealthPass is positioning itself for growth in the small group market, and is contracting with the Chicago-based benefits tech firm bswift to provide the online retail platform.”
"HealthPass New York Selects bswift to Provide Exchange Technology, Services.” Matt Dunning reports on HealthPass New York’s recent decision to use bswift for its exchange technology and services, including reporting tools, dashboards and alerts for employers; shopping tools, decision and enrollment support for employees; and analytics, benchmarking and access to aggregated group data, as well as employer billing, collection and broker commission management tools for brokers.
"Employees will need to be educated about benefits eligibility," an article about the importance of educating employees about their benefits eligibility. Don Garlitz, Executive Director, bswift Exchange Solutions, comments: "I don't know if the tracking is going to be any more cumbersome than it has been in the past, but now employers have a real incentive to make sure they are tracking correctly. And there's going to be a bit more scrutiny. Employers will have to be ready for audits...the tools are out there in the marketplace."
"Businesses prepare for health insurance shift," an article covering the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health's 13th annual symposium on September 6, 2012. Don Garlitz, Executive Director, bswift Exchange Solutions, spoke at the event, discussing how health insurance exchanges will shape the future of American health care and what employers can do to help slow the relentless growth of health plan costs.
"NAHU 2012: Health Insurance Exchanges Are Coming," an article covering the National Association of Health Underwriters' annual convention. Don Garlitz, Executive Director, bswift Exchange Solutions, predicts that many states will set up exchanges no matter what the Supreme Court or Congress do about PPACA.
"Private Exchanges and WBEs Say They Can Drive More Enrollment to State Exchanges," an article on how Web-based entities (WBEs) like bswift will not only need to offer states powerful online shopping tools, but also demonstrate a strategy for capturing market share and directing it to the exchange.
At bswift, we take fun very seriously. In fact, "More Fun" is one of our core corporate values (along with "Higher Standards" and "Greater Accountability"). Why? Because we firmly believe that engaging employees in a fun and appreciative workplace not only boosts morale and strengthens company culture, but it can also increase productivity and impact the bottom line.
50 Favorite Ways to Have Fun at Work
Here are some of our favorite ideas for ways to have fun at work. Some of these ideas come from bswift's Chief Fun Officer Patrick McGarrity, and many come from our buddy Scott Christopher who wrote a great book called "The Levity Effect: Why It Pays to Lighten Up." Be sure to check out Scott's book at www.levityeffect.com.
- Weekly Jeopardy: at noon once a week, gather in a conference or cubical for a couple rounds of Jeopardy (use a Jeopardy day-to-day desk calendar). The highest scorer takes the Jeopardy trophy for the week and gets to choose the first category the following week.
- Wii Bowling Tournament: create teams that allow people from different departments to get to know each other. Crown a "King Pin" and "Queen Pin" and award gift certificates prizes.
- Kids Come Into Work Day: to draw on the whiteboard, play Wii and join everyone for pizza at lunch. Employees take turns being "Camp Counselor" for an hour.
- Summer Kickball After Work: in a nearby park or parking lot. No need for formal leagues or uniforms just show up and feel like a kid again.
- Quarterly Potluck Lunch: with a different fun theme each time. Charge $3 and give the proceeds to a local charity.
- Jeans Day for Charity: sell tickets for $2 each that allow the purchaser to wear jeans to work on a specified day of the week. For example at bswift, each ticket is good for wearing jeans on Wednesdays during April. Proceeds go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
- Michael Jackson Trivia Contest: the winner gets tickets to a local event or movie or a copy of "This Is It" on DVD.
- Executives Breakfast: upon meeting a specified departmental or company goal, get the executives to put on an apron and start frying up the bacon and flipping pancakes.
- Cubicle Decoration Contest: choose a theme and award prizes for the best cubicle decorations.
- Paint a Break Room with Chalkboard Paint: this idea comes from Whole Foods where employees can doodle on the walls and one store team leader even writes up her weekly updates rather than sending out a memo.
- Surprise Movie Outings: the bswift CEO called a mandatory all-company meeting on a Friday afternoon and arranged for temps to answer the phones. At the meeting, he announced that he was taking everyone to see a movie at a nearby movie theater. It was an inspiring movie and a good way to "rally the troops" during a stressful business season.
- Pumpkin Carving Contest: buy some pumpkins and some carving knives. Everyone votes and the winner gets a Starbucks' gift card. Extra points for those who carve the likeness of a member of the management team.
- Cinco de Mayo Party: have margaritas and a piata. Nothing relieves stress or gets more laughs that whacking a donkey with a bat.
- Ethnic Food Night: what started as a group of employees going out for Korean BBQ one night has expanded to organized outings to different ethnic food restaurants in Chicago often with a company "expert" along to explain the offerings. It's fun to a have multi-cultural employee population!
- Sitcom Lunches: weekly gatherings to watch favorite shows such as "30 Rock" or "The Office" over lunch.
- Massage Therapy Breaks: during bswift's busy season, we bring in a couple of massage therapists for one or two days and anyone can sign up for a 15 minute massage.
- Video Monitors: bswift has flat screen TV's throughout the office that rotate pictures from recent fun events, announce upcoming events, post "Fun Facts" and more.
- Wall of Fame: create a Wall of Fame decorated with pictures of team members, thank-you notes from clients and other feel-good postings.
- Bowling Night: to kick off the beginning a busy season or to celebrate reaching a goal, do a group bowling night with pizza, beer and a good jukebox.
- 2 Truths & 1 Lie: to start a meeting with a bang, ask everyone to come up with two truths about themselves and one lie. People must guess which one is the lie.
- Oh Say Can You See: start a meeting with the singing of the national anthem and give a prize to anyone who can sing it without missing a word (or missing the high note).
- Joke of the Day: have department members take turns telling a "Joke of the Day" at meetings.
- Song of the Day: to be blasted out at a set time in the afternoon. Try to make it describe what's going on that day, special events or just an upbeat song to fire people up.
- Trading Places: have the CEO or other high-level executive switch places with an employee for a day and cover the story in an employee newsletter or better yet on video.
- Homemade Food Contests: chili cook-offs, cookie bake-offs, etc.
- Office Book Club: that meets weekly or monthly over lunch.
- Rock On!: create an office rock band. At Bain & Company, the "Bain Band " performs at least once a year during company meetings and other special events.
- Karaoke Lunch: there's nothing funnier than watching your boss belt out "My Sharona." Have a talent contest with contestants and judges and give the winners gift cards for a free lunch.
- Ice Cream Man!: in the summer, bring in an ice cream truck or shaved ice truck onsite.
- Tailgate Party: who needs a stadium? Start the grill up in the parking lot on a Friday afternoon.
- The Great Outdoors: get a "fresh" perspective by holding a meeting outside or at a local park.
- Texas Hold 'Em: hold a tournament with refreshments and prizes on-site or at someone's house.
- Third Thursday: every 3rd Thursday of the month, go to a local watering hole to celebrate achievements, anniversaries or just making it through another month.
- Family Ice Skating: rent an hour at a local rink and invite employees and their families to come hit the ice.
- Roller Hockey: hold weekly roller hockey games in the company parking lot.
- Local Runs/Walks: encourage everyone to participate together in local runs and walks and reward participants with post-race refreshments or a picnic. This works to promote corporate wellness programs as well as have fun and develop camaraderie.
- Live Music: put a piano in the break room for whoever wants to play a few tunes or start a sing-a-long.
- Scrabble Breaks: have a game that goes on throughout the day(s).
- Trivia Breaks or Trivia Night: including questions about company products and history.This is a great way to have fun as well as make sure that folks know their stuff.
- Brainstorming Money Machine: to get the creative juices flowing in a brainstorming session, write down ideas on a white board then have everyone vote on their favorite 3 ideas. The winners get one minute in a rented money machines filled with some bills. (You don't have to actually use the ideas, but it rewards people for getting involved).
- Give Yourself a Hand: on a deadline day, hand out plastic hand-clappers at the end of the day and have everyone give themselves a hand for a job well done.
- Mini Golf: set up a mini golf course in the office.
- Hire a Comedian: Instead of using the CEO as emcee at your next company event, hire a professional comedian.
- Car Wash: get the executive team to hold a car wash and scrub every employee's car in the lot.
- Trading Places II: Have employees elect a new manager from their ranks to take the reins for a day. The existing manager does that employee's work for the day.
- Spread the Fun: be sure to share "fun " ideas company wide by covering events in your company newsletter or on your company Web site.
- Scavenger Hunt: create teams and send them on a scavenger hunt around town. The hunt ends at a local bar or restaurant for drinks and prizes.
- Take Me Out to the Ball Game: you might not be able to take employees to opening day, but you can celebrate by bringing in a hot dog cart for lunch or organizing a potluck with hot dogs, burgers, popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy etc.
- Get Organized: create a Fun Committee within departments and/or companywide and rotate membership. This is the best way to get people involved and to ensure that the "fun" is really fun and not just another set of top-down directives.