bswift Study Shows Increase in Wellness Incentives and Automation to Control Health Care Costs : bswift Press Release

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bswift Study Shows Increase in Wellness Incentives and Automation to Control Health Care Costs

CHICAGO, IL — Thursday, September 22nd, 2011


bswift, a national leader in software and services for employee benefits administration, today released a study indicating that an increasing number of employers are leveraging wellness programs and benefits automation to stimulate employee engagement and control health care costs.

The report, 2011 Wellness and Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study, is based on surveys of more than 150 companies across the country in a variety of industries.

Key Findings – Wellness: All companies surveyed with more than 500 employees offer wellness programs to employees. But the existence of a wellness program in itself does not guarantee a reduction in health care costs. As a result, an increasing number of companies are offering incentives that motivate employees to participate, with a much higher percentage in 2011 focused on Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) and biometric tests. Of companies with more than 500 employees:
  • The percentage of companies offering wellness incentives increased significantly from 49 percent in 2010 to 68 percent in 2011
  • Biometrics are quickly becoming the cornerstone of wellness programs: 62 percent of companies are testing in 2011; of companies that offer incentives, 56 percent reported incentives for completing biometrics in 2011, up from just 28 percent in 2010
  • The top incentive type was a health insurance premium discount or surcharge
Key Findings - Automation: While companies in 2011 are automating benefits administration processes in larger and larger numbers, they are still far from actualizing the full potential for bottom-line gains and operational efficiency. Of companies with more than 500 employees:
  • 22 percent still have not automated the new hire enrollment process at all and 84 percent manually alert new hires of incomplete enrollments
  • Only half have an automated dependent "age out" process for canceling coverage (e.g., reaching age 26)
  • 21 percent still manually reconcile paper health insurance invoices against benefit records or do not reconcile at all
  • 43 percent do not automatically reduce life insurance at age 65/70
The study also included an analysis of the cost impact of under-automation of benefits administration. Companies that do not fully automate their benefits administration processes are potentially forgoing savings of $19.07 per employee per month. This equates to over $1 million in annual savings for a typical 4,400 employee company.

“The findings are clear,” said Rich Gallun, bswift CEO. “Companies are investing more in wellness and automation to curb the spiraling cost of health care. On the wellness front, we’re seeing large and small companies investing significant time and money in biometric tests and wellness incentives as strategic tools to stimulate employee engagement and control costs.”

Gallun added, “We are also seeing more companies turning to fully-automated and nimble technology solutions in order to strategically address the administrative challenges posed by today’s complex and rapidly changing world of health care.”

To download a copy of the full report, 2011 Wellness and Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study, please visit bswift online.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT

Laura Field
312.961.5054
lfield@clearedgemarketing.com