Employees Embrace Choice According to Liazon Private Exchange User Survey

November 17, 2015

Empowerment inspires lean-in approach to benefits enrollment, year after year; Extends to involvement in health care decisions

BUFFALO, NY – November 17, 2015 – A new survey by Liazon, operator of the industry-leading private benefits exchange, found that employees using a private exchange are embracing choice when it comes to their benefits enrollment process, and making good choices when given the right tools.

As Liazon’s survey reveals, employees genuinely enjoy being in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing their benefits. When asked if they preferred to choose for themselves or have an employer do so, an overwhelming 96 percent said they would rather make their own selections.

From the employer perspective, the study found that eight out of 10 employers are satisfied with the exchange overall, seven out of 10 have experienced streamlined administration, and seven out of 10 were able to stabilize or even reduce benefits costs in the first year after moving to an exchange.

The survey clearly indicates that employees are making informed decisions based on what’s right for their unique needs—not just what’s light on their wallets. In fact, price is not the largest driver of benefits selection. The majority—61 percent of employees—chose the benefits they did because they provided the right level of coverage. Only 30 percent selected the benefits because they provided the lowest cost.

According to the survey, 96 percent of employees indicated that they are satisfied with their exchange experience. In addition, they are happier with their benefits selections when compared with the general population. After a year, 95 percent of employees using a Liazon exchange were satisfied with the benefits they purchased. In comparison, the 2014 & 2015 MetLife Employee Benefit Trends Study cited that on average, 45 percent of employees across small, medium and large-sized businesses indicated they were not confident with the decisions they made at their last annual enrollment.

“This year’s data show us that empowered and informed employees are capable of making the right benefits decisions—ones they feel confident about down the line,” said Ashok Subramanian, Liazon’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “As the landscape shifts toward greater adoption of the private exchange model, it will be key for employers to recognize that, with proper support and education, autonomy can be a powerful and motivating factor for employee engagement in benefits.”

The survey also uncovers an apparent evolution in how people engage with their benefits after moving to a private exchange. When asked what has changed, respondents reveal that increased empowerment and choice inspire a lean-in approach to benefits enrollment, with two out of three employees indicating they:

• have become more aware of their company’s contribution to their benefits costs;
• have a better understanding of what their health insurance covers;
• have become more aware of the costs of medical care; and,
• have become more engaged in their health care decisions.

Employee engagement on an exchange continues year after year. As plans, prices, and employees’ personal situations change, buyers are adjusting their portfolios appropriately. In fact, 81 percent of employees modified their portfolio in their second year using an exchange, with the vast majority only making slight modifications.

About the Survey
The survey was conducted online among employees and employers who use Liazon’s flagship product, the Bright Choices® Exchange, as well as other proprietary exchanges powered by Liazon. In this annual survey, data were collected from 159 employers and 696 employees in order to gauge sentiments about their benefits experience with this model. The survey was distributed on a rolling basis between June 2014 and May 2015.

Survey Resources Available
A complimentary survey report is available for download here.

About Liazon
Founded in 2007, Liazon Corporation operates the industry-leading private benefits exchange for businesses. Its flagship product, the Bright Choices® Exchange, is an online benefits store that is changing the way employers and employees buy benefits. Bright Choices helps employers manage their health care costs by setting predictable budgets through a defined contribution funding strategy while guiding employees to purchase better coverage of health, dental, vision, life, disability and other benefits. Advanced cloud computing infrastructure and robust security protection ensures continual access and safeguards confidentiality of data transmission. Liazon works with top national and regional insurance providers and supports businesses nationwide through a distribution network of leading broker partners. Liazon was acquired by Towers Watson in November, 2013. To learn more about Liazon and the Bright Choices Exchange, go to www.liazon.com.