BUFFALO, N.Y. — The value associated with quality store brands may extend beyond the shelf to a retailer's workforce through operators like Liazon, which operates a private benefits marketplace for businesses across the U.S. Distributed generally under the brand name Bright Choices, as well as several privately labeled brands, Liazon marketplaces are online benefits stores that allow employees to personalize their benefits package with a selection of health, dental, vision, life, disability and a host of other benefits from top national and regional providers.
And that array of choice for employees leads to a sense of empowerment and more informed healthcare consumers, according to a new report from Liazon. The "Liazon 2017 Employee Survey Report: Health Care Consumerism in a Marketplace Environment," based on data collected from thousands of employees who enrolled in benefits via a Liazon-powered marketplace in 2016, reveals that the marketplace environment produces savvier and more satisfied healthcare consumers.
"The results of our annual survey once again show that employees prefer to shop for their own benefits, rather than have their employers make these decisions for them," stated Liazon co-founder Alan Cohen. "The essential elements of a marketplace — transparent pricing and employee choice, coupled with education and other decision support tools — result in employees who embrace the idea of customized benefits and become more confident and satisfied healthcare consumers in the process."
Survey respondents reported they valued several aspects of their benefits marketplace including: online education and decision support tools, transparent pricing, expanded offerings, as well as the ability to control their own benefits selections as opposed to having their employers select for them.
Liazon found that 85% of employees feel more engaged in their healthcare decisions, up from 83% in 2015. Further, 82% of employees are more confident in their healthcare decisions after enrolling in benefits through the marketplace. The educational resources, plan comparison tools and control over decisions that the marketplace affords resulted in 83% of employees having a better understanding of what their health insurance and other benefits cover.
Similarly, 85% of employees responded they had an increased awareness of the cost of their medical care. The report findings indicated that the marketplace environment empowers employees to take ownership of their benefits and therefore, their overall financial health.
Other notable survey findings include:
- 75% of employees are more likely to stay with their employer because of their benefits program;
- After using the marketplace, 94% of employees were satisfied with their experience and only 5% said they wouldn't want their future employer to offer a benefits marketplace;
- While only 16% of employees were initially excited about using a marketplace to choose their benefits, 79% are now glad their employer made the switch;
- More millennials and post-millennials (21%) were initially excited about moving to a marketplace, compared to GenXers (16%) and baby boomers (12%);
- After moving to a marketplace, millennials and post-millennials (85%) reported the highest satisfaction with their company's decision to switch, compared to GenXers (78%) and baby boomers (74%); and
- A year later, 92% of employees were satisfied with the benefits they selected in the marketplace.