The Web Wins: Workscape's 2007 Annual Open Enrollment Study Underscores Overwhelming Preference for Web-Based Tools

Consumer-Directed Health Plans & Self-Service Decision-Support Tools Also on the Rise

Red Bank, New Jersey, UNITED STATES

MARLBOROUGH, MA--(Marketwire - April 15, 2008) - The results of Workscape's 2007 Annual Enrollment study are in and, when it comes to benefits enrollment options, web-based tools are hot, interactive voice response (IVR) systems are not and well-trained call counselors providing 24x7 phone-based support remains a staple of positive, effective employee communication.

Workscape, a leading provider of outsourced benefits administration and talent management solutions, handles total benefits enrollment activities for scores of businesses and hundreds of thousands of employees spanning multiple industries. As a result, the company can provide an excellent "snapshot" of trends and technologies affecting benefits enrollment preferences in North America and reports these back to the marketplace on an annual basis.

The 2007 study revealed a continued trend toward online adoption, with 84% of all workers leveraging the web for benefits enrollment. For those individuals who do not have access to a computer, or who have questions regarding benefit options, a 24x7 HR Service Center staffed by expertly trained call counselors serves as a valuable resource. During the 2007 open enrollment season alone, Workscape fielded about 135,000 calls to its HR Service Centers; 6000 on the busiest day in November, 30% of which came after normal business hours.

This "high touch" approach to employee service can have a dramatic impact on plan adoption, as well as ensure that workers receive the information they need to make the right selections. By contrast, IVR technologies (electronic phone-based systems that enable employees to select their benefits via a series of voice commands) continue to diminish in use.

The study also revealed an increased adoption of consumer-directed healthcare plans (CDHP), as nearly one-third of Workscape clients now include a CDHP as part of their employee benefit offerings. These plans typically feature higher deductibles for employees, but lower premiums per pay period. When coupled with pre-tax medical savings accounts, CDHP can provide an excellent value for many workers, but employees must ensure that they select insurance and medical savings plans that are best suited to their personal health and financial situation. As a result, online decision support tools are also increasing in popularity.

"The movement toward CDHP can be both empowering and confusing for workers," said Daryl Ashley, senior vice president and general manager of Workscape's Outsourced Benefits Administration business. "That's why it's becoming increasingly important to provide robust decision support tools, coupled with highly knowledgeable support personnel, if employers truly want to change enrollment behaviors."

During the 2007 season, Workscape significantly increased the number of transactions processed via its scalable and extensible benefits communication infrastructure -- web-based and otherwise. During open enrollment, Workscape processed an average of 100,000 employee enrollments per week, with as many as 31,000 enrollments in a single day. As consumer-directed plans increase in popularity and adoption, Workscape anticipates that employees will continue to turn to the web as their primary resource for plan education and comparison.

"As a leader in outsourced benefits administration, we will continue to make the strategic investments in technology, partnerships and people to ensure that our clients will always deliver timely and intuitive support to their employees... regardless of how they wish to enroll," said Ashley.

About Workscape

Workscape is a leading provider of business-critical HR solutions that have enabled hundreds of organizations to manage their two largest workforce expenditures: employee benefits and performance-driven compensation. Workscape's offerings share a common technology platform, can be readily integrated with existing IT investments, serve millions of employees, and are scalable and configurable to meet the distinct requirements of organizations ranging from hundreds to hundreds of thousands. One client uses the company's award-winning multi-lingual compensation solution to compensate hundreds of thousands of employees across 70 countries. Workscape's outsourced benefits administration offerings are backed by U.S.-based 24X7 support for managers and employees on policies and processes. For more information about Workscape, visit or call (888) 605-9620.