Benefitfocus Industry Comparison Reveals Manufacturing is Leading Adoption of High-Deductible Health Plans

June 28, 2016


Benefitfocus logo

Behavioral data shows distinct differences between plan offerings and selection among 400,000 employees in the education, manufacturing and health care industries

Charleston, S.C. – June 28, 2016 – Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), a leading provider of cloud-based benefits management software, today released its “Benefitfocus State of Employee Benefits 2016 – Industry Edition,” a snapshot of real, but anonymous, benefit selection data from over 400,000 consumers across 200 employers in the education, health care and manufacturing industries on the BENEFITFOCUS® Platform.

This third report in the “State of Employee Benefits” research series segments by industry, data from the initial report, which analyzed behavioral data from the company’s large employers. The industry edition reveals distinct differences in benefits offerings, with manufacturing leading adoption of high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), education largely favoring traditional plans (PPOs, HMOs, etc.) and health care offering the most voluntary benefits to help employees manage the financial risk gap.

Manufacturing is the only one of the three industries to offer a combination of HDHPs and traditional plans at a higher rate than traditional plans only (48 to 46 percent, respectively), and manufacturing employees selected an HDHP over a traditional plan 46 percent of the time. The findings suggest an opportunity for manufacturing employers to encourage their employees to participate in health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts (FSAs) as a means of covering higher out-of-pocket costs associated with HDHPs.

In contrast, only 23 percent of education employers offered at least one HDHP, with traditional health plans dominating the benefits mix. HMOs, known for narrow provider networks but low out-of-pocket costs, made up the bulk (44 percent) of employee enrollments, which suggests an opportunity to offer a wider range of lower cost benefits options tailored to a multi-generational workforce.

Employees in the health care industry face high deductibles regardless of plan selection, but are also better equipped to cover unexpected medical costs, turning to “gap” voluntary benefits—products including critical illness, accident and hospital indemnity insurance—to help supplement medical coverage. Health care employers offered gap products at the highest rate of the three industries, 12 percentage points above the Benefitfocus Platform average, and nearly half of health care workers selected one when given the choice.

“Industries that have historically relied on traditional medical offerings to attract and retain talent are going to soon realize that one-size-fits-all does not work for all employees,” said Shawn Jenkins, Benefitfocus CEO. “By incorporating more choice into plan offerings, employers are recognizing that benefits management technology enables more affordable and customizable ways of providing health care protection than just traditional HMO and PPO plans.”

For more findings, download the full Benefitfocus State of Employee Benefits 2016 – Industry Edition.

Study Methodology

The “Benefitfocus State of Employee Benefits 2016 – Industry Edition” report analyzed anonymous benefit selection data from Benefitfocus’ data warehouse, using data from the large employer edition and drilling down into the top three industries represented in that report – education, health care and manufacturing. The industry report includes data from over 400,000 employees during the fall 2015 open enrollment period for approximately 200 large employers, all with 1,000 or more employees.


To learn more about HRchitect and how we can help your organization and your Human Capital Management (HCM) technology needs, please request a consultation. As the leader in HCM Systems strategic consulting, we offer end-to-end HR technology consulting services focused around strategic planning, evaluation and selection, change management, implementation, project management and ongoing support of HCM systems of all types including Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Learning Management, Workforce Management, Benefits, Core HR/Payroll, and more. Over the past two decades, working on thousands of successful engagements for clients of all sizes and industries across the globe, our experience is vast and unsurpassed. We have expertise around all major HCM systems including BenefitFocus, WorkForce Software, Ultimate Software, Oracle, Taleo, Saba, IBM Kenexa, SumTotal Systems, SAP, SuccessFactors, Lumesse, PeopleFluent, Cornerstone OnDemand, Infor, and more. HRchitect is a name you can trust for all of your organization’s HCM technology-related consulting needs.

Press releases posted on HCM Tech Vendor News are provided to HRchitect by the technology vendors and posted by HRchitect as a service to our readers.