Benefitfocus launches new software

By Lauren Ratcliffe
lratcliffe@scbiznews.com
Published April 25, 2012

Benefitfocus launched a new software product for large employers today at its annual One Place event in Charleston.

The new software, HR InTouch Marketplace, supports benefits shopping, defined contribution, consumer direct pay and applications.

“I know that we’ll look back on this day and go ‘Wow, that was when we introduced a decade long game changing set of technologies,’” said Benefitfocus president and CEO Shawn Jenkins.

HR InTouch Marketplace allows employers to establish online marketplaces where their employees can shop for benefits from a range of options.

At the One Place event, Benefitfocus brought in companies that are using the new technologies to explain how the products are applied.

“As a retailer, design and usability are incredibly important to us — we want our employees to be engaged, even inspired, as they select their benefits,” said Scott Scansen, director of total rewards management for The Wet Seal. “Benefitfocus technology is unlike anything else we’ve seen in the market. It’s flexible, elegant and easy to use and is really helping our employees appreciate the great benefits that we provide.”

The software gives employees as much or as little assistance as they would like in exploring benefits options. Cost calculators track employee choices against employer-defined contributions and tally what the employee’s out-of-pocket costs would be.

Employees indicate how they want to pay the additional costs and can elect to receive text message notifications when it’s time to authorize payment. Benefitfocus also announced the launch of secure mobile payment.

Jenkins called the One Place event an “epic, historic day,” as his company unveiled a handful of other products to become available later this year.

The new products announced include: new mobile marketplace capabilities which allow employees to experience the product in a streamlined fashion from computers, tablets or smartphones; private exchanges for insurance carriers; retiree and Medicare marketplaces; and a partnership with the Mayo Clinic providing health and wellness services through HR InTouch.

Jenkins said his company has already invested $250 million in cloud technologies and expects to double its investment.

“Trust me, we are not slowing down,” Jenkins said. “We are speeding up.”

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