SOURCE: Liazon

Liazon

July 09, 2013 08:00 ET

Employees Tap Private Exchanges for Diverse Range of Coverage Options

Multiple Options and Decision Support Tools Enable Employees to Go Beyond Basic Health Coverage and Address a Range of Risks

BUFFALO, NY--(Marketwired - Jul 9, 2013) -   Liazon Corporation, operator of the industry-leading private benefits exchange for businesses across the U.S., released the results of a study that analyzed the buying habits of employees who use Liazon's Bright Choices® Exchange. The results show definitively that when presented with a broad range of health insurance and ancillary benefits options, individuals choose diverse ranges of coverage based upon their needs.

The study analyzed a sample of enrollment data for over 2500 employees in New York and New Jersey. Employees shopped for benefits online among up to 10 health plans, supplemental health insurance, dental, vision, HSAs, FSAs, life, disability, and other products with the assistance of a decision support system with innovative, interactive education tools and recommendation logic.

The analysis showed that a majority of the time, employees chose the less expensive plans among the set of health plans offered. As a result, there are tangible savings for both the employee and the employer. In addition, a full 52% chose an HSA-qualified health plan, compared to the national average of 19% in 2012 -- as noted in a 2012 Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey.

Ancillary and supplemental benefits products proved to be very valuable to employees and point to a need for exchanges to offer a broad range of these products. 91% of the employees purchased ancillary and supplemental products that complemented their health plan and protected them against a variety of risks.

The most popular ancillary products selected were dental insurance (72%), life insurance (71%), and vision (45%), but employees didn't stop there. Long-term disability was purchased 53% of the time, and even benefits such as health coaching, tele-doc consults and pet insurance were selected up to 10% of the time. 

"From the data it was clear that employees were able to navigate a myriad of health insurance choices along with ancillary products and make educated decisions," said Alan Cohen, chief strategy officer of Liazon and co-author of the study. "Employees welcome the opportunity to personalize the benefits package that works best for them and their families without being forced to buy benefits or services they don't need."

Employees were able to navigate the breadth of plans and options, underscoring the critical role of decision support features. The Bright Choices Exchange decision support system enables employees to answer a simple questionnaire and receive plan recommendations, compare plans side by side, and access educational videos, articles and more to better understand insurance in general and their plans in particular.

"Detractors of the private exchange model argue that expanded choice is confusing to employees. However, data indicate that when employees are offered assistance through a decision support system coupled with education tools, employees are choosing a health insurance package that best fits their needs," said Chris Condeluci, co-author of the study.

The study was co-authored by Alan Cohen, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Liazon and Christopher Condeluci, Of Counsel at Venable LLP. The full study is available through Liazon at www.liazon.com/news-room/white-papers.

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 healthcare 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. Liazon works with top national and regional insurance providers and supports more than 2,400 businesses nationwide through a distribution network of leading broker partners. Liazon has offices in Buffalo, N.Y. and New York City. To learn more about Liazon and the Bright Choices Exchange, go to www.liazon.com.

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