One Place 2018 Top Takeaways
  • Industry Trends & Insights

Top Takeaways from the Benefits Community at One Place 2018

When you bring together 500 members of the benefits community for three days, there's a lot of collaborating and sharing. A great time was had by all – employers, brokers, insurance carriers and benefit suppliers from across the nation – as they discussed the hottest topics and top challenges facing the industry today. Though there was a lot to learn, three key themes echoed throughout the majority of the sessions:

1. Knowing the workforce

Every session I attended reiterated the importance of knowing the workforce. 

Starting with benefit plan design, employers, as well as brokers and insurance carriers, want to offer options that are going to be attractive to employees. Employers must understand what types of benefits are not only going to be perceived as valuable to employees, but also provide the coverage they need to protect them physically and financially.

Employers often depend on the broker to advise them in this matter, which is why it's important for the broker to have a deep understanding of their clients' workforce. And insurance carriers need to know they're providing access to the right coverage, whether it's medical, dental or voluntary benefits. 

The communication of those options becomes equally as important. Knowing the workforce plays a huge role in understanding what employees' expectations are when it comes to digesting information. While it was largely agreed upon that mobile apps and text messaging are becoming the most efficient channels of communication, many employees still expect paper mailers on their benefits. One company even reported having employees who actually will call into HR if they don't receive a mailer.

Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how you can personalize communication for your target audience. 

2. The value of HSAs

It's no secret that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are an increasingly popular cost control tactic. That's why benefit professionals have dedicated communication efforts to showcase the value a health savings account (HSA) can offer employees in an HDHP. Even companies with historically rich PPO plans have been successful in migrating employees to HDHPs by explaining how HSAs can be an additional savings vehicle for retirement.

Unfortunately, increasing HSA limits and expanding "qualified expenses" – policies discussed by ACA expert Chris Condeluci in his 2018 Health Care Reform Outlook session – did not make it into the latest Congressional spending bill, which was signed the day after our conference concluded.

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3. It's all about the consumer experience

It's not just about the benefits offered or the communication channels used. It's about the overall experience consumers have with their benefits. Enrollment is a huge part of that. Consumers are making decisions to protect themselves and their family, as well as to save for the future. They're relying on technology to provide the right information to make the right choice. That same technology has to make sure their enrollment elections get to the right place, so the right amount is deducted from their paycheck and they have coverage when they need it most. 

This all hinges on a technology platform's ability to deliver higher levels of data accuracy, visibility and timeliness. 

Hear how Benefitfocus is connecting the entire benefits community to deliver the ultimate consumer experience in this upcoming webinar.