CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - May 14, 2014) -
bswift, a leader in software and services for employee benefits administration, recently held its 11th annual bswift Summit, with more than 300 HR and benefits professionals in attendance. At this year's "Idea Exchange," experts offered insights on a variety of timely topics, including private exchanges and defined contribution, ACA compliance and the newest in decision support technology. Event sponsors included Assurant Employee Benefits, CareXtend, Cigna, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, HealthPlanOne, ID Watchdog, MetLife and Unum. bswift also handed out five different awards, including the 2014 Fun at Work Award.
bswift kicked off the conference on Thursday morning, May 1, at The Westin -- Michigan Avenue, where attendees were treated to a full day of keynotes, panel discussions and breakout sessions. Summit participants had the opportunity to meet fellow attendees and share ideas about trends and best practices in the areas of health benefits, wellness and decision-support technology.
Rich Gallun, bswift CEO, commented on the success of the event, saying, "In all the years that we have been organizing the bswift Summit, clearly this was the best one yet. This year especially, a critical mass of smart clients and partners came together to share ideas and learn from one another."
Don Garlitz, Executive Director, bswift Exchange Solutions, introduced the first panel, "Consumerism in the Marketplace: What Does It Mean for Employers?," which looked at health and benefits exchanges, defined contribution, narrow networks and provider contracting. Panelists Andrew Croshaw, Partner and Managing Director, Leavitt Partners and Gunjan Khanna, Partner, McKinsey & Company, considered Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and the implications for employers. Providers seek ways to increase or offer value to employers in a number of ways: exploring direct contracts with large employers (e.g., Cleveland Clinic), offering high-performance networks within existing health plans (e.g., Cigna and Land of Lincoln Health) or establishing their own plans (e.g., North Shore LIJ). Consumers are looking for choice -- specifically an assortment of network options at different price points and a selection of plan designs at a variety of premium levels.
For the next panel discussion, "Work-Life Balance in Today's Lean-In Culture," moderator Andrea Davis, Managing Editor, Employee Benefit News, used Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead as the jumping off point for a lively conversation with Shannon Russo, CEO, Kinetix, Kerry Held, Director of Client Relations, Hospitality Quotient and Jennifer Pagels, Director of Human Resources, Trek Bikes. The panelists considered the challenges that persist in balancing professional responsibilities and career advancement with personal commitments and family life. All three pointed out the human element of doing business, noting that building successful work relationships encompasses more than the job that someone does at the office. Russo and Pagels also emphasized that informal mentoring can have great value and stems from connections created both inside and outside the workplace, including on the golf course or on a group bike ride.
Following the panel discussions, bswift's McGarrity presented a number of awards to recognize not only bswift client "super users" but also clients and employers with the highest levels of employee self-service and employee engagement. For embracing fun in the workplace, bswift awarded its annual Fun at Work Award to The Cheesecake Factory.
This year more than 20 breakout sessions were offered including: ACA Compliance, with a representative from The Cheesecake Factory; Call Center for Today & Tomorrow, with speakers from Anheuser-Busch, Briggs & Stratton and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago; and Total Compensation Statements & Total Rewards, with speakers from Lennox International, Secure Mission Solutions and Sedgwick.
Thursday evening featured live music and dinner by Wolfgang Puck at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, with private access to galleries.
bswift will make available videos and podcasts from the Summit in the coming months. Summit 2015 will be held on May 14 and 15 at Swissotel Chicago.
Based in Chicago, bswift offers software and services that streamline benefits, HR and payroll administration for employers and public and private exchanges nationwide. bswift's state-of-the-art cloud-based technology and outsourcing solutions significantly reduce administrative costs and time-consuming paperwork, making life easier for administrators and millions of consumers who enroll in benefits with bswift. For more information, visit www.bswift.com and check out the bswift blog at www.bswift.com/blog.