Consumer Benefits Coverage Index™ from Benefitfocus
  • Industry Trends & Insights

Meet the All-New Consumer Benefits Coverage Index™ from Benefitfocus

The U.S. employee benefits industry is experiencing massive change.

As health care costs continue to rise year after year, employer-based medical coverage has become increasingly expensive for consumers. At the same time, the workforce has become increasingly diverse, and it’s expected to become even more so over the next five years.1

These shifting dynamics require expanding the role of employee benefits to help consumers better manage their medical costs and meet a widening range of health, wealth and lifestyle needs. Such an expansion calls for the benefits industry – employers, brokers, product suppliers and carriers alike – to gain a greater understanding of the benefits consumer, to better help the consumer assemble the right combination of products and coverage for their own personal circumstances.

To help foster this understanding, Benefitfocus created the all-new Consumer Benefits Coverage Index™ (CBCI). Drawing on anonymized benefits enrollment data from our platform of more than 23 million consumers, CBCI provides one-of-a-kind insight into how Americans are protecting their health, wealth and lifestyle with employer-based insurance and benefits.

A New Model for Evaluating Employee Benefits

Benefit and coverage needs can differ greatly from one individual to the next. At the same time, members of the same peer group will often have comparable needs. Therefore, it’s likely that the optimal amount of coverage for a consumer is neither completely identical to nor completely different from their peers.

CBCI establishes approximate ranges of optimal and sub-optimal coverage based on how similar or dissimilar an individual’s benefit spending is to their peer group across three key categories of voluntary benefit products: health, wealth and lifestyle.2 Each category is scored on a scale from 0 to 100 – with an aggregate score range of 0 to 300 – reflecting the average amounts spent by a consumer in these categories relative to their peers.

CBCI Score Ranges

 

 

Low-end CBCI scores – from 0 to 33 in a category and 0 to 99 in total – indicate that a consumer’s voluntary benefit spending differs greatly from their peer group (or may indicate no spending at all). Consumers in this range may need additional education about what products are available and may be of value to them.

High-end CBCI scores – from 77 to 100 in a category and 229 to 300 in total – indicate that a consumer’s voluntary benefit spending is highly similar to their peer group. Consumers in this range may exhibit “check-the-box” behavior and need additional guidance to help them make more personalized decisions.

Mid-range CBCI scores – from 34 to 76 in a category and 100 to 228 in total – indicate that a consumer’s voluntary benefit spending is neither identical to nor completely different from their peer group. Consumers in this range have a relatively balanced benefits portfolio, generally spending in line with their peers while also keeping in mind their individual circumstances and needs.

To learn more about CBCI and to see our preliminary 2019 findings on the typical U.S. benefits consumer, visit benefitfocus.com/consumer-benefits-coverage-index.

 

1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review. (2017). Projections overview and highlights, 2016–26. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2017/article/projections-overview-and-highlights-2016-26.htm

2. Category definitions: “health” refers to benefit products that supplement core medical coverage (e.g., dental, vision and health advocacy); “wealth” refers to benefit products that help consumers protect their income (e.g., life, accident and short-term disability); “lifestyle” refers to benefit products that cover other areas of life (e.g., legal, pet, identity).