Benefitfocus Data Finds Voluntary Benefits Gaining Popularity Across the Country, with the Midwest in the Lead

Employees take on more financial responsibility through consumer-directed health plans; employers offer supplemental protection to ensure success

Charleston, S.C. – May 31, 2017 – Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), a leading provider of cloud-based benefits management software, today released its “State of Employee Benefits – Regional Edition" research report, a snapshot of real, but anonymous employee benefit election data from over 500 employers on the BENEFITFOCUS® Platform, broken out by U.S. Census region. The data shows voluntary benefits are gaining popularity across the country as employees take on more financial responsibility for their health care through high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), with the Midwest leading the pack in terms of HDHP and voluntary benefit adoption.

West Moves Away from Traditional Plans – Employees Invest in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

  • Employers increased HDHP offerings by 54 percent, driving employee adoption with a 20 percent decrease in HMO participation
  • To protect against the deductible gap, employees are adopting voluntary income protection benefits (138 percent increase in participation) and health savings accounts (highest average employee contribution in country)

Midwest Sees Highest HDHP Offerings & Participation Rate – Results in High Adoption of Voluntary Benefits

  • More employers in the Midwest offer HDHPs (67 percent) and more employees elect these plans (42 percent) than all other regions
  • Employees are adopting voluntary benefits to manage rising out of pocket costs, with a 567 percent increase in participation – more than any other region (40 percent)

Employees in Northeast See Higher Premiums but Lower Deductibles

  • Employee-paid premiums are higher than all other regions, regardless of plan – HDHPs up 7-11 percent ($1,164 individual, $3,582 family); PPOs close behind ($1,710 individual, $4,777 family)
  • Yet, deductibles for PPOs and HDHPs are lower than all other regions

Employees in South Face Highest Out-of-Pocket Costs for All Plans

  • More employers are embracing HDHPs (54 percent increase) and voluntary benefits (49 percent increase, higher than all other regions)
  • Employees face higher PPO and HDHP deductibles than all regions – PPO deductibles are 11-15 percent higher ($1,361 individual, $2,886 family); HDHP deductibles are nearly double PPOs ($2,443 individual, $4,855 family)

“Consumer-driven health is taking hold across the country, more quickly in some regions than others, and employees are carefully considering how to spend their health care dollars – some for the first time,” said Benefitfocus Co-founder and CEO Shawn Jenkins. “Employers on the Benefitfocus platform realize they need to support their workers as they transition to these plans, educating them on the importance of voluntary benefits and HSAs in covering unexpected health care costs. Without the necessary guidance, employees will not be equipped to protect themselves or their loved ones.”

For more findings, download the full Benefitfocus State of Employee Benefits 2017 – Regional Edition.

About Benefitfocus
Benefitfocus (NASDAQ: BNFT) provides a leading cloud-based benefits management platform that simplifies how organizations and individuals shop for, enroll in, manage and exchange benefits.  Every day leading employers, insurance companies and the consumers they serve rely on our platform to manage, scale and exchange benefits data seamlessly.  In an increasingly complex benefits landscape, we bring order to chaos so our clients and their employees have access to better information, make better decisions and lead better lives. Learn more at, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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; changes in government regulations; 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; fluctuations in our financial results; general economic risks; reliance on key personnel; our ability to compete effectively; our ability to maintain our culture and recruit and retain qualified personnel; privacy, security and other risks associated with our business; 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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