When It Comes to Employee Benefits, the Average American Is Not Adequately Protected

May 29, 2019

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Editor’s Note: As the leader in HCM technology consulting services, HRchitect is a founding System Integration (SI) Partner with Benefitfocus, serves on their SI Advisory Committee, and has been involved in more implementations than any other partner. Our Benefitfocus experience includes Project Management, Implementation, Portal Development and Ongoing Support, Process Analysis/Redesign, Training, Integration, and Change Management.


New benefits index report from Benefitfocus highlights key coverage gaps among U.S. workers

Charleston, S.C. – May 29, 2019 – Benefitfocus, Inc., a leading cloud-based benefits management platform and services provider, today announced the release of its 2019 Consumer Benefits Coverage Index™ Report. The report offers insight into how well U.S. workers’ benefits meet their expected needs. It was created using Benefitfocus’ proprietary Consumer Benefits Coverage Index (“the Index”), which was launched in April 2019, to measure and evaluate U.S. consumer spending on employee benefits. The report’s findings indicate most Americans may have insufficient protection in key areas.

According to the report, the typical U.S. consumer’s employee benefits portfolio is out of balance due to a lack of coverage in two major classes of voluntary benefits on the Index: wealth and lifestyle.

The Index organizes voluntary benefits – defined as any non-medical benefits offered through an employer but paid for partially or solely by the consumer – into three primary categories:

  1. Health products supplement core medical coverage; the category includes traditional insurance products like dental and vision, as well as newer offerings like health advocacy.
  2. Wealth products help consumers protect and/or replace their income; the category includes insurance products like life and accident, as well as tax-advantages health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts.
  3. Lifestyle products address a variety of other consumer needs; the category includes products like pet insurance, legal insurance and identity theft protection services.

Each category on the Index is assigned a score reflecting the average spend by a consumer in the category relative to their peer group. Scores can fall in one of three ranges that approximate optimal and sub-optimal coverage based on how similar or dissimilar an individual’s coverage is to their peer group.

The Index report shows that the typical U.S. consumer has an optimal-range score in health, but sub-optimal-range scores in wealth and lifestyle. The results were sampled from the industry’s largest benefits platform with over 25 million consumers and representative of the entire U.S. population.

“Often, consumers are on auto-pilot when it comes to researching, buying and using their benefits. There is a significant gap in the American workforce around truly understanding benefits coverage and value,“ says Ray August, President & CEO of Benefitfocus. “We believe knowledge is power, and this report is meant to open dialogue across the benefits ecosystem about opportunities to help consumers raise their benefits IQ so they can make smart decisions and protect their total well-being.”

The report also looks at the Index across various demographic groups, as well as three distinct worker persona groups, highlighting key differences in benefit spending and coverage situations.

The full report can be found here. Benefitfocus will hold a webinar on Thursday, June 6, highlighting the report’s key findings and providing top takeaways for employers and their advisors. Visit here to register.


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