“Idea Exchange” at Annual bswift Summit Addresses New Ways to Think About Employee Benefits in the ACA Era : bswift Press Release

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“Idea Exchange” at Annual bswift Summit Addresses New Ways to Think About Employee Benefits in the ACA Era

CHICAGO, IL — Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

With the 2014 implementation of many major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) looming, hundreds of industry experts and human resource professionals gathered recently in Chicago for a lively “Idea Exchange” at the 10th annual bswift Summit. Panel discussions and breakout sessions focused on the most pressing strategic issues affecting corporate culture and the bottom line today including insurance exchanges, employee wellness, extreme benefits and defined contribution. bswift also recognized numerous clients and attendees with awards, including the 2013 Fun at Work winner.

The opening session titled “A New Way to Think About Benefits: An Employer Perspective” featured insights into the ACA’s practical effects. Panelists Don Garlitz, Executive Director of Exchange Solutions at bswift; Brett Graham, Managing Director, Leavitt Partners; and Adam Okun, Senior Vice President, Frenkel Benefits, agreed that the vast majority of employers will not drop health care coverage in light of the ACA despite early predictions to the contrary. “In fact, we have yet to find one of our clients who is planning to drop coverage to benefit-eligible employees,” noted Garlitz.

The panel also agreed that most employers recognize that it’s not in their best interest to send low-income, benefit-eligible employees to the public exchange. Instead, employers are exploring a myriad of other strategies including minimum value products. “bswift offers easy-to-use dashboards for its clients to quantify the potential penalties from the ACA shared responsibility provisions and to benchmark their benefit plans against similar employers,” said Garlitz.

General sessions that focused on employee engagement included:
  • “Extreme Benefits & Total Rewards: How Benefits Can Help Differentiate Your Employer Brand” with Anne Nimke, Founder & CEO, The Good Jobs and Ray Seaver, Executive Vice President, bswift
  • “Hospitality in Benefits: Creating Raving Fans” with Kerry Held, Director of Client Relations, Hospitality Quotient; Alden Romney, Vice President of Operations, One Medical Group; Toby Hicks, Director of Human Resources, Methodist Hospital; and Rich Gallun, CEO, bswift

“You want engaged employees, those that work with a passion and feel connected to the company, as they are the ones who drive innovation,” said Nimke. However, according to a Gallup survey, less than a third of U.S. employees are engaged. Speakers offered tips to increase engagement, including offering creative benefits and perks that fit your culture and would be worthy of employees bragging to their friends about, such as wardrobe allowances and stipends for drivers of electric or hybrid cars.

bswift Announces Fun at Work Award Winner
Echoing the theme of engagement, bswift’s Chief Fun Officer, Patrick McGarrity, named the 2013 winner of the fourth annual bswift Fun at Work Award. GN ReSound, a technology leader in hearing aid solutions located in Bloomington, MN, was chosen for its Moments Movement campaign, which recognizes employees for the impactful steps they take to help patients reconnect with the world around them. In just four weeks, GN ReSound employees submitted over 600 moments. In addition to providing raffle prizes to participants, GN ReSound makes a donation for every moment submitted to its Moment Maker Grant. Customers can apply for this grant, which is good toward continuing education, mission trips, or other business-related needs.

“We selected GN ReSound because we were impressed by this multi-pronged campaign, which is not only a fun and meaningful way to recognize the contributions of employees but also a tribute to their company’s compassionate and team-oriented culture,” said McGarrity.

Follow bswift’s blog at http://www.bswift.com/blog for continued discussion on these topics.

About bswift
bswift is changing the world of benefits administration by combining deep expertise and a passion for technological innovation with a unique consumer-driven approach. Partnering with enterprises nationwide and serving millions of employees, bswift offers cloud-based technology and services for online enrollment, interactive decision support, ACA compliance reporting and employee engagement. bswift also provides access to consumerism, product and consulting solutions needed to build a benefits program specialized for both employers and employees alike. For more information about bswift, an Aetna company, visit www.bswift.com.


Emma Frutkin