Stage Stores Adopts Benefitfocus HR INTOUCH MARKETPLACE®

Leading neighborhood retailer to leverage Marketplace + Administration solution as part of retention and total compensation strategy

Charleston, S.C. – September 25, 2014 – Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), a leading provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions, today announced that Stage Stores, Inc. has adopted Benefitfocus HR INTOUCH MARKETPLACE® to support its benefits administration strategy in light of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Stage Stores selected Benefitfocus because of the HR INTOUCH MARKETPLACE portal’s ability to automate the transmission of data across multiple systems, which will facilitate ACA compliance checks and eliminate the need for manual updates.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Stage Stores operates nearly 850 department stores across 40 states under the Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage nameplates. The Texas-based retailer has approximately 14,500 total employees and 6,000 full-time employees. With the remaining workforce population made up of part-time and variable hour employees, Stage Stores is presented with the challenge of calculating look-back periods to comply with the ACA’s Employer Shared Responsibility Provision.

HR INTOUCH MARKETPLACE is designed to accommodate the reality that everyone is eligible for some type of benefit and can become eligible for employer-sponsored health plans based on the ACA’s look-back provision. Through data integration and reporting capabilities, the portal provides access to tools for monitoring eligibility and notifying newly eligible employees of their enrollment options.

“As a retailer operating primarily in small and mid-sized communities, part of our retention strategy is to provide benefits education that conveys the value we offer to employees,” explained Cindy Kothmann, Vice President of Benefits, Compensation and HR Administration at Stage Stores. “Benefitfocus offers a solution that enables us to accomplish an effective employee communication strategy while helping us manage compliance needs as we face the changes resulting from the ACA.”

By enforcing business rules, HR INTOUCH MARKETPLACE allows Stage Stores to configure enrollment workflows that are specific to the employee’s eligibility status. Employees are guided through a familiar online shopping process that incorporates plan comparison tools and educational videos to help them better understand which option is best suited to their specific needs. The cloud-based portal is accessible from any web-enabled device, allowing employees to retrieve benefits information at any time from their smartphone, tablet or personal computer.

“The way employees perceive their benefit options as well as how employers are communicating their offering is being heavily impacted by healthcare consumerism and regulatory requirements,” stated Benefitfocus President and CEO Shawn Jenkins. “We have designed a Marketplace + Administration solution that Stage Stores can leverage to educate and empower employees as they shop for benefits while simplifying the complexity associated with compliance.”

HR INTOUCH MARKETPLACE is expected to be available to Stage Stores employees in time for their open enrollment period this fall.

About Stage Stores

Stage Stores, Inc. operates primarily in small and mid-sized towns and communities. Its stores, which operate under the Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage names, offer moderately priced, nationally recognized brand name apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear for the entire family. The Company operates 849 stores in 40 states. The Company also has an eCommerce website. For more information about Stage Stores, visit the Company’s website at

About Benefitfocus

Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) is a leading provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions for consumers, employers, insurance carriers and brokers. Benefitfocus has served more than 23 million consumers on its platform that consists of an integrated portfolio of products and services enabling clients to more efficiently shop, enroll, manage and exchange benefits information. With a user-friendly interface and consumer-centric design, the Benefitfocus Platform provides one place for consumers to access all their benefits. Benefitfocus solutions support the administration of all types of benefits including core medical, dental and other voluntary benefits plans as well as wellness programs. For more information, visit

Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: the need to innovate and provide useful products and services; the immature and volatile nature of the market for our products and services and other factors that could impact our anticipated growth; management of growth; our ability to compete effectively; reliance on key personnel; our ability to maintain our culture and recruit and retain qualified personnel; changes in government regulations; privacy, security and other risks associated with our business; fluctuations in our financial results; general economic risks; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in our SEC filings, copies of which are available free of charge within the Investor Relations section of the Benefitfocus website at or upon request from our investor relations department. Benefitfocus assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

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