Benefitfocus® eExchange Announces Web Services

Mount Pleasant, S.C. – Feb. 23, 2006 – Benefitfocus.com, Inc., the leading provider of employee benefits software and services, announced today the creation of its new eExchange web services package. Clients transmitting data from their Human Resources department front end to the carrier using Benefitfocus® eExchange, can now transmit real-time benefit transactions through a new Web services interface.

Benefitfocus® eExchange allows companies with existing HRIS systems or third-party payroll vendors to communicate effectively and efficiently with carriers without having to use multiple applications or hire additional IT staff. eExchange receives daily benefits enrollment and eligibility data from large employers in multiple formats. The engine then interprets and translates the data into the insurance carriers’ mandated formats and feeds it directly to the carriers' membership systems. The new Web services interface can enhance the ongoing management of daily transmissions.

“The market demand for real-time processing has been the driving force for our development of web services. There is a need for a more strategic platform,” says Stacey Garner, Director of Engineering for Benefitfocus. “With the trend in Consumer Directed Health Care, members and groups are going to increasingly require on-demand data transmission. eExchange web services will provide easier development times, data reusability and better consistency.”

The Web service contains detailed specifications, a pre-written library of code, information, and processes and services, so that developers are able to make modifications to the existing framework rather than creating new processes for each transmission. It also allows for real time processing; a company can send changes to Benefitfocus to be processed immediately on a transactional basis, instead of a 24-hour, full-file batch. The specification and code library can be freely downloaded from the website.

“Everyone is aware that electronic enrollment significantly cuts down on errors,” adds Garner. “However, our web services further augment those expectations by cutting down on phone calls from groups to carriers for emergencies outside of the normal batch process.”

eExchange web services will also cut down on manual intervention; groups can push changes—such as terminations, Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, or dependent additions—out of their system, as opposed to making a phone call or special request.

The tool will have a research component and a dashboard accessible for both clients and carriers. For instance, employer groups will be able to see when transactions have been delivered, and which records errored due to missing or incorrect data. Human Resources administrators can go on the Web to see their transactions are processed and sent to the carrier. They can also find statistical analysis on the data they have sent to the carrier, as well as any exceptions found in their data.

Carriers will be able to see all of their clients’ transactions that have been received and processed by eExchange and transferred to them. Carriers may also research the raw data their clients have submitted to Benefitfocus and compare it to the scrubbed data that Benefitfocus submitted to the carrier. Plans will also be able to see exceptions and reasons that Benefitfocus returned insufficient or incorrect data, and monitor the time and date of data transfers. These features will save them time and give them a secure way of viewing their data.

A real-time Web interface will also allow more streamlined troubleshooting and customer service. A one-stop-shop for all their data needs, Benefitfocus clients will be able to click on a support link to contact Benefitfocus in real time.

About Benefitfocus

Benefitfocus.com, Inc. (Benefitfocus) is a leading provider of benefits administration software and services, offering employees and employers access to all benefits and human resource information securely over the Internet. Linking this data to payroll vendors and benefit providers, Benefitfocus applications seamlessly exchange data, therefore reducing errors and costs associated with traditional paper-based forms. Benefitfocus applications are designed to make companies more efficient, cost-effective, and more focused on delivering actual benefits instead of spending time on undue paperwork. The company is headquartered in Mount Pleasant, SC (Charleston), and has an established client base of over 8,000 corporate employers in all fifty states.

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