Employer Satisfaction with Benefits Marketplaces

Results of Willis Towers Watson’s 2017 survey

June 20, 2017
| United States

About the study

Over the past year, we conducted a survey of employers who use our benefits marketplaces to offer health and other benefits to their employees, to learn about their experience. This survey targeted employers with benefits effective dates between April 2016 – March 2017.

What we learned

The data show that overwhelmingly, employers are satisfied with their marketplace experience and that it has impacted their employees, and their company, in a positive way.

Additionally, the data show that employers can use the marketplace to improve company culture and retain employees.

What employers told us about their marketplace experience:

The results are in and employers believe that moving to our benefits marketplace has:

  • Been a positive experience. 97% of employers are satisfied with the marketplace.
    • Year two is even better. 98% of renewing employers are satisfied.
  • Improved their company atmosphere. 88% say moving to the marketplace has positively impacted their company culture, and 75% of employees say they’re more likely to stay with their employer because of their benefits program.
  • Allowed more predictability around cost. 86% think the marketplace has helped them control benefits costs.
  • Made their jobs easier. 90% say their company’s benefits administration has been simplified even while drastically increasing the number of benefits offered to their employees.
    • An average 14 products were offered on a marketplace in 2015.

And their employees are becoming more confident and savvy health care consumers as a result. Compared to their pre-Exchange experience:

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...of employees are more aware of the cost of medical care.
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...of employees better understand what their health insurance and other benefits cover.
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...of employees are more engaged in their health care decisions.
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...of employees are more confident in their health care decisions.

Switching is believing

Looking back on the overall experience, employers believe they made the right choice: 95% are glad they switched to an online benefits marketplace.

And employees are glad they made the switch too:

  • While only 16% of employees were originally excited about using a marketplace to choose their benefits, 79% are now glad their employer made the switch.
  • After using the marketplace, 94% were satisfied with their experience.
  • Only 5% said they wouldn’t want their future employer to offer a benefits marketplace.

We asked employers what the best part of their experience working with the marketplace has been. Their top three responses:

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