Benefitfocus Data Finds Employers in Education, Manufacturing and Retail Taking on Greater Share of Premiums for High-Deductible Health Plans to Drive Adoption

May 9, 2017


Participation in health savings accounts and voluntary benefits strengthening

Charleston, S.C. – May 2, 2017 – Benefitfocus, Inc. , a leading provider of cloud-based benefits management software, today released its “State of Employee Benefits – Industry Edition” research report, a snapshot of real, but anonymous employee benefit election data from over 260 employers on the BENEFITFOCUS® Platform, representing the education, health care, manufacturing and retail industries. Employers across each of these industries have incorporated high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) into their offerings, although strategies to encourage employee adoption vary, as does the actual adoption of these plans.

100% Increase in Education Employers Offering HDHPs, But Employees Stick to Tradition
  • 2017 was a significant shift in strategy for the education industry, with 44 percent of employers offering HDHPs, up from 22 percent last year
  • But employees continue to favor traditional plans, primarily HMOs, which accounted for 37 percent of enrollment choices
Health Care Employees See Big Premium Increases, Get More Plan Choice
  • Employee-paid premiums for individual-coverage HDHPs and PPOs increased by 19 and 17 percent, respectively – higher than the average increase on the Benefitfocus Platform (12 and 1 percent, respectively)
  • Fifty-one percent of employers offered an HDHP in addition to traditional plans, up from 37 percent in 2016
Manufacturing Industry Leads in HDHP Offerings, Lowers Employee-Paid Premiums
  • Similar to last year, the manufacturing industry leads in the rate of HDHP offerings (61 percent)
  • Employee-paid premiums for individual-coverage HDHPs fell 9 percent, while employer premiums went up 11 percent – opposite the Benefitfocus Platform average
Retail Industry Sees Higher HDHP Adoption, Employees Embrace Voluntary Benefits
  • HDHP employee adoption increased 30 percent from 2016
  • Thirty-nine percent of employees elected at least one of three income protection benefits, and 11 percent elected all three—year-over-year increases of 77 and 1,000 percent, respectively

“The shift to higher out-of-pocket health care costs is a radical change for many employees, requiring them to completely rethink the way they consume health care,” said Benefitfocus Co-founder and CEO Shawn Jenkins. “Although different industries are offering and adopting HDHPs at varied rates, it’s clear all employers on the Benefitfocus Platform understand one size does not fit all, and that employees need more choice and education to protect their health and finances.”

For more findings, download the full Benefitfocus State of Employee Benefits 2017 – Industry Edition.

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 the consumers they serve 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, 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 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.



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