Mind the Insurance Coverage Gap: 5 Ways Benefitstore Makes It Easy

"Coverage gaps" can place a hefty financial burden on your workforce and make your benefits package less competitive. Benefitstore, Inc. transforms data about your workforce—claims data, prescription data, healthcare trends data and more—to help employees fill the gaps in coverage in an easy-to-enroll, no barriers way. So what is Benefitstore and how can it help employees? Here, we'll answer the top 5 questions employers, carriers and employees want to know about how Benefitstore can help consumers fill coverage gaps.

1. What is Benefitstore?

Benefitstore, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Benefitfocus, provides consultative services for Voluntary Benefits managed within BENEFITFOCUS® Marketplace. The Benefitstore is a turn-key service. So whether you're an employer, carrier or broker we can help. We'll analyze your current benefit plans and assess which voluntary products will "fill the gaps" between medical deductibles and HSAs. So you can better prepare your clients or employees to protect income should an unplanned illnesses or accident occur.

2. How does Benefitstore, Inc. help employees?

Studies show that two-thirds of employees wouldn’t be able to financially adjust to costs of a serious injury or illness. A one-night hospital stay or visit to the emergency room could place a heavy financial strain on an employee. According the American Journal of Medicine, more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcy filings are triggered by medical debt.

With Benefitstore, employees have an easier way to protect their wealth, health and well-being. Our consultants help you choose which voluntary benefits to offer—from income protection and identity theft coverage, to critical illness, tele-health and pet insurance. We make it easy for you to give your employees more choices without the administrative burden of managing more choices. Best of all, employees can select voluntary benefits that are personalized to their lifestyles and do so in a pressure-free, self-service environment. And employees enjoy lower premiums and more robust products that also include guarantee issue. We've removed complexity from the benefits shopping experience.

Employees are taken on a guided shopping experience— similar to that of popular online retailers—with communication tools and videos explaining how the voluntary benefit can protect them. Then, employees can view their shopping carts, know exactly how much it will cost and make any adjustments. Think of it as you would do-it-yourself tax preparation software that explains how a change in one entry, affects the amount of your refund or how much you may owe. A change in one benefit—say a shift to a Consumer-Directed Health Plan (CDHP)—would automatically transition to a Health Savings Account (HSA). The software can explain how CDHP and HSA work together to help protect your employees’ health and wealth. It also provides industry and claims data to guide employees to the most effective choices.

3. How does Benefitstore work with employers?

Benefitstore can help you expand your benefits portfolio with a more competitive benefits package. We'll conduct an analysis of your workforce and help pinpoint relevant, effective voluntary benefit options based on your goals and workforce demographics. There's no fee and no minimum participation requirements, and we also help you explain to employees in clear and simple terms—no “insurancese”—how the benefits will protect their family. Explaining benefits and their value used to be a costly, time consuming endeavor… Until now…

Benefitstore makes it easy for you and your employees. Video is one of the most powerful and effective mediums. Four out of five enterprises see video as increasing productivity and efficiencies in their organizations (Source: Wainhouse Research Survey). That’s why we integrate educational videos within the enrollment workflow.

Our personalized guided shopping helps reduce the number of support calls you’ll need to answer. It helps employees connect the dots between income protection and healthcare. It explains the “what” and the “why.” But that’s only part of the administrative savings you’ll see.

The Benefitfocus Platform can reduce the transactional burden of managing more types of benefits. We handle administrative transactions for you, including benefits-related payroll deductions and carrier billing transactions from multiple carriers. You design the voluntary benefits package and we take care of the rest—it’s that easy.

4. Why do employees need voluntary benefits?

Two reasons: flexibility and protection. Voluntary benefits provide flexibility regarding plan design, choice and pricing. And employees own their policies, so even if they change jobs, they can take their voluntary benefits with them.

Voluntary benefits also provide cash to cover expenses including: medical treatments not covered by your health plan, mortgage payments during recovery, car payments and other bills, travel for treatments unavailable locally, and more.

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), continued changes to employee and retiree benefits have added greater financial risk. Voluntary benefits help mitigate financial risk. According to Mercer's National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, in 2014, 77 percent of large employers offered voluntary benefits to fill gaps in employer-paid benefits. That figure is up from 72 percent in 2013. Benefitstore helps you offer employees additional income protection at more affordable rates.

5. I already have a broker, why do I need Benefitstore?

Our benefit consultants can partner with your broker to assess your current benefits strategy and provide additional assistance to help you determine the best mix of benefits to support your benefits strategy.

More importantly, we take time to understand the products and implement them within the context of a self-service environment. We empower employees with the right information to make informed decisions about their health care and wealth care. It's a win-win-win for employers, employees and brokers. Employers can offer the benefits packages their workforce needs without any additional work, employees get the protection they need, and many of our brokers see increased participation due to the Benefitstore self-service focused consulting.

Learn how easy it is to protect your employees' health and wealth with voluntary benefits.