SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

February 08, 2007 14:31 ET

Benefit Management Initiatives Target Employee Behavior

Aberdeen Group Report Reveals Best in Class Firms Are Moving Toward Consumer-Driven Heath Plans

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 8, 2007 -- The trends in benefits management are clear: integrate benefits more tightly with payroll and employee self-service to achieve administrative time and cost savings while pushing bold employee wellness initiatives to reduce healthcare utilization costs.

According to a newly published Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS) report, "Benefits Management Benchmark: Technology Automation and Employee Self-Service," 66% of Best in Class firms have automated benefits management via software licenses, on-demand subscriptions or 3rd-party outsourcing. Only 51% of industry norm groups and 30% of industry laggards have an automated benefits management system.

The report's key findings indicated that 44% of Best in Class had also invested in some form of consumer-driven health plan to motivate changes in employee behavior toward wellness. The goal of these initiatives is to reduce the rate of healthcare utilization while increasing attendance and productivity of the workforce.

"The data indicates that Best in Class organizations have taken benefits management to a new level," says Cindy Jutras, Aberdeen Group's Vice President of Enterprise Research. "By investing time and money in an automated benefits management system, they are able to decrease administrative costs while increasing the quality and quantity of employee communications regarding benefits options. Helping employees better understand the costs associated with their benefits options encourages employees to make smarter healthcare choices which will redound to the benefit of themselves and their companies."

Foster offers the following recommendations for benefits management process improvement:

--  Focus on integrating benefits management tightly with your HRIS system
    of record and with payroll, preferably within the framework of an employee
    self-service portal, so that benefits changes are automatically updated
    with payroll-driven changes in employment or benefits eligibility.
--  Review current benefits management key performance indicators (KPIs)
    and be sure to include "Employee Satisfaction with Benefits" as one of
--  Explore the options for consumer-driven healthcare plans (CDHPs) that
    provide employees with information and incentives toward wellness behavior
    which will reduce healthcare utilization and, eventually, premium costs.
The "Benefits Management Benchmark" report examines responses from 137 companies, showing how they differentiate themselves in benefits management process, organization, data management and technology. Readers will also receive guidance on next steps to take in order to increase their efficiency and effectiveness in managing benefits within their organizations.

This report is made available to the public, in part, by the underwriting support of Infor and nuView Systems Inc.

For a complimentary copy of this report, please visit

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to AberdeenTM for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to

Contact Information