bswift: Industry Insights

A new way to think about benefits

To help our customers and partners stay ahead of the curve in the complex and rapidly changing world of benefits and health care, bswift fosters dialogue and offers useful information through our ongoing series of webinars, white papers and studies.

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Industry Insights

2016 Benefits Administration Infographic

2016 Benefits Administration Infographic

Download the 2016 Benefits Administration Infographic to learn how imaginative and innovative uses of technology are driving important benefits changes in wellness, plan design and decision support.

Download the Infographic →
How to Win Big with Decision Support: The science behind engaging employees

How to Win Big with Decision Support: The science behind engaging employees

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
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Description:


It doesn’t take a few dozen studies to see that employees dread going through the enrollment process. But the solution to the problem—that’s another story. Join bswift’s Dennis Sladky, Vice President of Consumer Experience, and Christopher Weil, Vice President of Creative, as they walk through the latest findings and share how those findings have transformed Ask Emma, bswift’s decision support tool.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • Different ways to help employees through enrollment
  • How to make sure employees understand their benefits
  • What it takes to turn a tedious process into an enjoyable one
  • The rigor behind bswift analytics and user testing

Speakers:


Dennis Sladky, Vice President of Consumer Experience, bswift

Christopher Weil, Vice President of Creative, bswift

How Incentives Are Reshaping Benefits Programs: A Dive Into the Latest Data

How Incentives Are Reshaping Benefits Programs: A Dive Into the Latest Data

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
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Description:


The bswift 2016 Benefits Study shows that an increasing number of HR and benefits leaders are giving employees more incentives to get healthy and fit. Join us as we explore the exclusive survey results and share actionable strategies for wellness incentives and rewards!

You'll discover why:

  • Businesses are giving rewards for healthy biometric levels—not low-risk
  • Wellness incentives are trending toward cash
  • Premium incentives remain the top way to distribute rewards

Speakers:


Eric Zimmerman, CMO, RedBrick Health
Shawn Moore, SVP Engagement, ActiveHealth Management
Scott Kirschner, Director of Benefits Strategy, Iron Mountian
Brad Wolfsen, SVP Experience and Engagement, bswift

Private Exchange Progress: A Deep Dive into the Latest Data

Private Exchange Progress: A Deep Dive into the Latest Data

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
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Description:


Wondering what your peers and competitors really think about private exchanges?
Are companies your size planning to implement one in the near future?
What obstacles prevent employers from adopting private exchanges more widely?

The answers to these questions and more lie in the results from the 2016 bswift Benefits Study and the 2015 survey of the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC). These annual studies gather data from hundreds of mid-size to large employers nationwide and offer deep insight into the strategies used and plans implemented by HR/benefits professionals to achieve organizational goals. Both studies asked probing questions about professionals’ plans and perceptions around private health insurance exchanges. Join our online discussion for exclusive insight and analysis on the surveys’ findings.

Discussion topics include:

  • The latest data on the number of employers considering a private exchange for 2017
  • The top forces leading companies to pursue an exchange
  • Key attributes employers consider before selecting an exchange solution
  • Leading factors behind employers’ reluctance to adopt an exchange
  • Speakers:


    Laurel Pickering, President and CEO, Northeast Business Group on Health
    Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift

Key Cost-Saving Options Every Benefits Professional Should Explore

Key Cost-Saving Options Every Benefits Professional Should Explore

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
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Description:


Without a doubt, the hottest trend in benefits is implementing cost-containment strategies. The strategies available are evolving rapidly, and while many savvy benefits professionals are aware of what’s out there, they may not be up to date on the latest advances.

Join this online session to learn more about what’s new in plan and care delivery options for employers and how to offer these new choices effectively to your employees.

Discussion topics include:

  • The ABCs of ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations)—reducing health care costs by encouraging doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to form networks that coordinate patient care and incent them to deliver care more efficiently.
  • Narrow networks—streamlining patient choice to lower costs without sacrificing quality of care.
  • Bundled health care—finding a fair, cost-effective middle ground between fee-for-service and capitations.
  • Private marketplaces—expanding employee options and encouraging consumerism while stabilizing costs.

Speakers:


Sanjay Saxena, Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group
Brigitte Nettesheim, CEO, Accountable Care Solutions, Aetna
Brad Wolfsen, Senior Vice President, bswift

ACA Regulatory Roundup: The Top 10 Things You Need to Know Now

ACA Regulatory Roundup: The Top 10 Things You Need to Know Now

Thursday, February 18th, 2016
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Description:


In December 2015, congressional lawmakers and IRS officials took multiple actions that affect benefits professionals—specifically, key ways they administer employee health benefits and comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

  • Congress delayed the ACA’s “Cadillac tax.” The excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans will now take effect in 2020, rather than 2018.
  • The IRS pushed back reporting deadlines for the required Form 1094 and Form 1095.
  • The IRS also updated rules affecting plan affordability provisions of the ACA—in ways that could trigger excise taxes for employers.

Join us for this online session to get a head start working through the important strategic and compliance issues that lie ahead.

Discussion topics will include:

  • Even with two years of extra time, what steps can/should employers take in the near future to lower plan costs and avoid the Cadillac tax?
  • What ACA rules aren’t affected by the Cadillac tax delay that employers still need to keep on their radar?
  • What lessons can employers learn now to ensure that 1094/1095 reporting is simpler and more efficient for 2016?
  • How can technology play an effective and efficient role in overall ACA compliance and plan affordability?

Speakers:


Mary Bauman, Attorney at Law, Health Care Reform Practice, Miller Johnson
Justin Burns, Vice President, Service Technology, bswift
Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift

Roundtable Discussion: An ACA and Benefits Technology Event

Roundtable Discussion: An ACA and Benefits Technology Event

On December 4, we hosted an ACA roundtable at Sony Pictures Studios in sunny California. The discussion featured a panel of experts who shared ideas and strategies focusing on the complex landscape of compliance and the ACA.

Friday, December 4th, 2015
Listen to the Presentations →

Topics of discussion will include:

  • The top 10 issues you should plan for before 2018
  • Navigating the twists and turns associated with the ACA and the Cadillac Tax
  • Insights and strategies that are top-of-mind with employers as they drive affordability within health care programs

Speakers:


Sandy Sakaida, Director of Benefits, The Cheesecake Factory
James Napoli, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw
Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift
The Cadillac Tax: How to reduce your exposure now and save money later

The Cadillac Tax: How to reduce your exposure now and save money later

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
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Description:


How much exposure do you have regarding the 40% tax in 2018? Are you ready?

The Cadillac Tax—an employer excise tax on high-cost health plans—takes effect in 2018. While benefits effective in 2017 won’t be affected by the legislation, employers with high health care costs and premiums will be subject to penalty for the 2018 plan year. As a result, many of those employers will implement their mitigation strategies in the fall of 2016 for 2017 enrollment to play it safe. Join us for an online discussion on the tax impact, common strategies employers are using to address the tax and how technology supports the execution of these strategies.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • Will the Cadillac Tax stay or go? An update on the Cadillac Tax and how to plan for it.
  • Are HDHPs and HSAs part of the solution? Learn how employers are deploying these solutions and what results they are seeing.
  • Will employees choose high-performance “narrow” networks when offered this option?
  • What role can decision support play in helping employees make better benefits choices?

Speakers:


Steve Neeleman, Founder & Vice Chairman, HealthEquity
Stephen Wyszomierski, Actuary, Aetna
Brad Wolfsen, Senior Vice President, bswift

2015 bswift Benefits Study Infographic

2015 bswift Benefits Study Infographic

Download the bswift Benefits Study Infographic to learn more about private exchange adoption and how technology is playing an increasingly larger role in how consumers shop for and use their benefits.

Download infographic →
2015 bswift Benefits Study

2015 bswift Benefits Study

bswift’s sixth annual study points to a benefits evolution, not revolution. Findings show that the rate of private exchange adoption has been modest to date, but increasingly, technology is playing a bigger role in how consumers shop for and use their benefits. The results provide mounting evidence that technology is enabling a transition from a traditional paternalistic approach to benefits toward a more consumer-centric method.

Download the study →

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Benefits and Total Rewards: How Are Employers Rebalancing the Equation to Accommodate Rising Health Costs?

Benefits and Total Rewards: How Are Employers Rebalancing the Equation to Accommodate Rising Health Costs?

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
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Description:


As health care expenses continue to rise, employers are looking for opportunities to rebalance the total compensation package (“total rewards") that they offer their employees. Join us for a discussion connecting bswift's deep data sets and industry experts’ viewpoints on the different strategies employers are using to address total rewards.

Topics of discussion will include:


  • Will employers continue to reduce their contributions to spousal and dependent benefits?
  • Does the public exchange option require employers to think differently about subsidizing dependent benefits?
  • Can expanding ancillary and voluntary benefit options or adding new benefits like pet insurance mitigate a reduction in health benefits?
  • How are employees responding to expanded ancillary and voluntary benefit offerings?
  • Are employees making smart choices and tradeoffs between tax-advantaged savings options such as HSAs and 401(k)s to expand their retirement savings?

Speakers:


John Mann, Jr., Managing Director, Manning Napier Benefits/Manning Napier Information Systems
Robert DiFabio, Senior Manager, North America Benefits, Waters Technology
Drew Fesler, Associate Vice President, Human Resources, Regis Corporation
Brad Wolfsen, Senior Vice President, bswift
Active Employees and Private Exchanges: What’s Actually Happening Today

Active Employees and Private Exchanges: What’s Actually Happening Today

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
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Description:


There’s a lot of buzz about private health insurance exchanges replacing traditional employer-sponsored health plans, but what does this transition to a consumer-based approach to benefits really look like for large and midsized employers today?

Panelists Michael Schneider from NFP, Barbara Gniewek from PricewaterhouseCoopers and bswift’s Don Garlitz will discuss the state of private exchanges in 2015 and the outlook for 2016.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • Private exchanges as a retail-style benefits platform for active employees
  • The rate of adoption – A sneak-peek at data from the forthcoming 2015 bswift Benefits Study
  • Defined contribution – What does it really mean for employers?
  • How does a private exchange differ from a traditional offering?
  • What are the cost advantages of a private exchange?

Speakers:


Michael Schneider, Managing Director, NFP
Barbara Gniewek, Principal, GHRS, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift

ACA Compliance for Employers: Past, Present and Future

ACA Compliance for Employers: Past, Present and Future

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
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Description:


Complying with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will require tracking and reporting that, by this point, employers should already have in motion. Join Vince Ventimiglia from Leavitt Partners and Don Garlitz and Justin Burns from bswift for an insightful look at the various reporting requirements for employers and practical considerations of the underlying tracking of data. The panel will also consider potential legislative or regulatory changes to the ACA, including the employer mandate and the 30-hour rule, as a result of the recent midterm elections.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • The 9.5% affordability rule
  • 6055 and 6056 reporting requirements and practical considerations
  • Part-timers and contractors and the 30-hour workweek rule
  • The Cadillac tax
  • Large group vs. small group rules, differences and implications
  • Reporting for PCORI and reinsurance fees
  • The outlook for legislative or regulatory changes to the ACA

Speakers:


Vince Ventimiglia, Leavitt Partners
Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift
Justin Burns, Vice President, bswift

Private Exchanges

Private Exchanges

The delivery of health care benefits in the U.S. is undergoing a major transition. Private health insurance exchanges play a significant role in this change, by offering employees a consumer-friendly way to purchase health insurance, often at a lower cost. Private exchanges also provide an expanded selection of health plans and insurance packages, creating a familiar, retail-shopping environment for employees.

"The Emerging Role of Private Exchanges” is illustrated in this information-rich poster, created by bswift and Business Insurance and featured in the Winter 2014 issue of Crain’s Benefits Outlook.
View poster →
The New Era of Employee Benefits

The New Era of Employee Benefits

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
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Description:


Managing employee benefit costs is of the essence as insurance costs continue to climb. Adaptive and innovative approaches such as defined contribution or private health care exchanges are cost-saving options employers are considering. In this session, we'll hear how innovative health insurance approaches can both fund employee health plans and achieve long-term financial goals.

Topics of discussion will include:


  • Potential cost saving ideas for employers and employees alike.
  • How employers can encourage employees to own their benefits.
  • The impact wellness incentives play in managing cost.

Speakers:


Don Garlitz, Senior Vice President, bswift
What Do Consumers Really Want to Buy – Beyond Medical?

What Do Consumers Really Want to Buy – Beyond Medical?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
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Description:


Consultants and insurers agree that the employee benefits market is entering a new era of consumerism where employers and employees expect greater choice and a retail shopping experience. But what products and services do consumers (aka employees) really want to purchase? And how do they want to buy them? What have been the barriers to adoption in the past, and how can they be overcome?

Join John Johnson, MetLife, and Don Garlitz, bswift, as they explore the recent history of ancillary and voluntary products and discuss the outlook for the future – in both private exchanges as well as in traditional benefit programs.

Topics of discussion will include:


  • Participation rates
  • Consumer purchasing behavior
  • Buyer profiles
  • Employee education
  • Decision support tools
  • Administrative challenges and solutions

Speakers:


John Johnson, Vice President, Channel Optimization, MetLife
Don Garlitz, Executive Director, Exchange Solutions, bswift
2014 bswift Benefits Study

2014 bswift Benefits Study

bswift’s fifth annual study focuses on three key benefits topics in varying states of maturity: defined contribution (in its infancy); wellness programs and incentives (moving into adolescence); and employee self-service and automation (at the most mature end of the spectrum).

Download the study →
The Value Proposition of a Private Exchange

The Value Proposition of a Private Exchange

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
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Description:


The world of health care and employee benefits is in the midst of a major transformation, or is it? One strategy some employers are considering is to move to a private exchange. While private exchanges are being covered in the press on a daily basis, there is significant confusion and even misinformation on the topic. Join Barbara P. Gniewek, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Don Garlitz, bswift, as they cut through the fog surrounding private exchanges and shed light on what employers really need to know.

Topics of discussion will include:


  • What is a private exchange?
  • What value does a private exchange bring to an employer?
  • How is a private exchange different from what employers are doing today?

Speakers:


Barbara P. Gniewek, Principal, GHRS, PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Don Garlitz, Executive Director, Exchange Solutions, bswift
Foosball Tables and Employee Engagement: What <i>Really</i> Moves the Needle in Your Quest for Talent

Foosball Tables and Employee Engagement: What Really Moves the Needle in Your Quest for Talent

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
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Description:


Join Anne Nimke, Founder & CEO of The Good Jobs, and Ray Seaver, Executive Vice President & Chief Hospitality Officer of bswift, as they explore strategies to help strengthen your culture and employer brand in the interest of attracting and retaining top talent.

Topics of discussion will include:


  • Trends in building an attractive culture for talent
  • Gauging the impact of “fun” in the workplace
  • Leveraging your employee portal to capture feedback
  • Measuring your success with a Net Promoter Score methodology
  • And more!

Speakers:


Anne Nimke, Founder & CEO, The Good Jobs
Ray Seaver, Executive Vice President, bswift
Defined Contribution: A Playbook for Employers

Defined Contribution: A Playbook for Employers

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
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Description:


Join us for a lively panel discussion with experts in the development of private exchanges, and enjoy a preview of the upcoming eBook, “Defined Contribution: A Playbook for Employers,” co-produced by bswift and Employee Benefit News.

The panel will offer real world insights into defined contribution, including the following topics:
  • What private exchanges will look like and how they will operate
  • Insured plans vs. self-insured plans
  • Group vs. Individual insurance product
  • Single carrier vs. multi-carrier solutions
  • Employee choice of multiple health plan options
  • The role of Wellness programs and incentives
  • Ancillary and voluntary products
  • Tax considerations and implications
  • Defining the optimal defined contribution for your employees
  • The role of decision support and technology
Cut through the media hype and join Don Garlitz, Craig Hasday and John Hohman to find out what’s really happening in the market in 2014 for employers in the >50 employee marketplace.

Speakers:


Craig Hasday, COO, Frenkel Benefits
John Hohman, Managing Director, NFP
Don Garlitz, Executive Director, bswift Exchange Solutions

Blog

Meet Reed Smith, a Senior Vice President at CoBiz Insurance, a subsidiary of CoBiz Financial. Smith, recently named Benefits Selling’s 2016 Broker of the Year, has always been on a mission to empower his clients and their employees to make great benefits decisions with the help of the latest technologies, like the bswift platform.

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New regulations bar insurers from discouraging sicker people from enrolling through the practice of altering broker commissions for mid-year enrollments. The change should restore many of the benefits that large employer want to capture by offering COBRA alternatives.

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As enrollment 2016 cools down, 2017 planning heats up. It’s time to activate your initiatives to control benefits costs and meet your financial goals. Try our 6 marketing and promo tactics to drive engagement.

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The coming year will bring a new administration to Washington, D.C., and the future of the Affordable Care Act will be debated again. Regardless of the uncertainty about next year, employers still need to submit ACA reports for the 2016 tax year.

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bswift is thrilled to announce that we are launching an exciting ad campaign centered around the amazing “Unexpected Benefits” employers will gain by working with our powerful technology-enabled capabilities and strategic know-how. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the unexpected benefits you’ll find when you benefit more from your benefits with bswift.

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When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, it often seems like the more we learn about it, the more questions we have. In February, we covered some key ACA topics in a #bWebinar aptly titled, “ACA Regulatory Roundup: The Top 10 Things You Need to Know Now.” Since then, we thought of a few extra nuggets of information that could prove valuable as you plan your benefits strategies for the years ahead.

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Does your company know what it means to be “More Fun”? Then we want to hear from you! Click here to learn more about and enter to win the 2016 bswift Fun at Work Award! In addition to receiving a trophy and a $250 gift card to put toward future events (pizza party, anyone?), this year’s winner will be recognized on Friday, May 6 at the 2016 bswift Summit.

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