Press Release

Willis Towers Watson annual surveys find U.S. employers and employees embracing the marketplace experience for benefits

97% of employers and 94% of employees are satisfied

June 15, 2017
| United States

ARLINGTON, VA, June 15, 2017 — According to a report from Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, nearly 100% of employers using online Willis Towers Watson employee benefit selection and decision support technology, also known as a private exchange, report they are satisfied with their experiences. The Willis Towers Watson Employer Satisfaction with Benefits Marketplaces 2017 report indicates that the marketplace experience positively impacted their employees and their company, with employers realizing improved company culture and employee retention.

The results of the survey, based on data from 202 employers that implemented a Willis Towers Watson marketplace for benefits through March 2017, found that 97% of employers are satisfied with the experience. Employer experiences slightly improve in year two, with 98% of renewing employers reporting satisfaction with the experience. These findings mirror the employees’ perceptions as well: After using the marketplace to choose their benefits, 94% of employees were satisfied with their experience.

“With the proper support and education offered through a marketplace for benefits, employers can achieve cost control while engaging and retaining top talent,” said Rob Harkins, practice leader, Private Exchanges, Willis Towers Watson. “The survey results speak to the positive impact of delivering benefits to employees within a marketplace environment and show that our innovative platform streamlines administration, controls benefit costs, and is appreciated by employers and employees alike.”

Notable survey findings include:

  • 89% of employers say moving to the marketplace has positively impacted their company culture.
  • 95% of employers are glad they switched to an online benefit marketplace.
  • 86% of employers say the marketplace has helped them control benefit costs.

Employers on average offer 14 different benefit products through their marketplaces. Even with the number of offerings increasing significantly, processing is still easier, as 90% of employers said their company’s benefits administration has been simplified.

Employees, too, found value in selecting benefits through the marketplace. According to Willis Towers Watson’s March 2017 Health Care Consumerism in a Marketplace Environment report:

  • 72% of employees say they received better value from their benefit dollars after using the marketplace.
  • 75% of employees are more likely to stay with their employer because of their benefit program.
  • 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.
  • 82% of employees are more confident in their health care decisions after enrolling in benefits through the marketplace.
  • 83% of employees claim to better understand what their health insurance and other benefits cover after enrolling for benefits through a marketplace.
  • 98% of employees find the ability to choose their own benefits (rather than have their employer choose for them) important.

About the 2017 Employer Experiences on Benefits Marketplaces Survey report

This report is based on an annual survey of employers that utilize a benefit marketplace. All respondents are users of Willis Towers Watson’s Liazon-powered marketplaces, which operate under a number of different brand names including OneExchange® and Bright Choices®. Liazon has been an industry-leading operator of benefit marketplaces since 2007. Two hundred two benefit administrators responded to the survey, 19% first-time users and 81% renewals. The survey was distributed on a rolling basis to all employers whose employees completed enrollment in 2016.

About the Health Care Consumerism in a Marketplace Environment report

This report is based on an annual survey of thousands of employees who utilize a benefit marketplace. All respondents are users of Willis Towers Watson’s Liazon-powered marketplaces, which operate under a number of different brand names including OneExchange and Bright Choices. Liazon has been an industry-leading operator of private exchanges since 2007. Data were collected from 21,855 employees, and the survey was distributed on a rolling basis to all employees who completed enrollment in 2016.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 40,000 employees serving more than 140 countries. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential. Learn more at willistowerswatson.com.