US Healthcare Reform Spurs Double-Digit Growth in Health & Welfare Administration Outsourcing Market | Press Release

Overall, Benefits Administration Outsourcing market shows steady growth of over 6 percent in 2013

DALLAS, May 7, 2014 — The Health and Welfare (H&W) outsourcing market logged a 10 percent growth rate (reaching US$2.1 billion in annualized revenue) in 2013. This double-digit growth was spurred by healthcare reform measures in the United States, according to Benefits Administration Outsourcing (BAO) Annual Report 2014: Benefits in Alternate Paths, a newly released report from Everest Group, an advisory and research firm on global services.

According to the report, the global Benefits Administration Outsourcing (BAO) market grew at a steady rate of approximately 6 percent in 2013 (reaching US$6.3 billion in annualized revenue). Currently, the H&W segment represents one-third of the BAO market, and it is expected to continue to grow at a strong pace. The face of the H&W market is changing as providers enroll increasing numbers of participants in their private exchanges. Conversely, the pensions market, which occupies almost two-thirds of the overall BAO market, grew at a lower pace in 2013.

“The most significant movement we have seen in the BAO market in the past year is in H&W outsourcing, both in terms of traditional outsourcing and the creation of private exchanges,” said Rajesh Ranjan, vice president of Everest Group. “The implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the United States has had a major impact on H&W as employers of all sizes sought help dealing with mandatory auto-enrollment and increases in employee coverage requirements and compliance as well as communication needs and administrative burdens.

“Going forward, we will be closely watching the impact of private exchanges on this market,” added Ranjan. “Currently, less than 10 percent of participants are enrolled through private exchanges, compared to over 90 percent through the traditional H&W outsourcing route, but we expect this to shift. Most of the major providers – Aon Hewitt, Mercer, Towers Watson, and Xerox – already offer HIX [Health Insurance Exchange] solutions to their clients, and we expect ADP to join the league in 2014. H&W providers need to define their HIX strategy soon.”

Other key findings in this report include the following:

  • Although the new deal activity was robust, the market witnessed significant turbulence, as numerous buyers switched providers due to several reasons;
  • In H&W, increased adoption was seen from the upper-end of the mid-market (5,000 to 15,000 employees) as this segment entered the market in a big way post the result of the U.S. presidential elections;
  • Buyers continue to take a focused approach towards BAO and outsource individual benefits areas – H&W, Defined Benefits (DB), and Defined Contribution (DC) with no significant uptick in Total Benefits Outsourcing (TBO)/Total Retirement Outsourcing (TRO) deals;
  • In this increasingly complex market, buyers are looking for value-added services such as advisory services, analytics, consumer-driven health plans, decision support tools, and improved communication services; and
  • The BAO market witnessed a continuous wave of acquisitions over the last two years. Several acquisitions were focused around gaining capability in the health exchange space.

Everest Group has produced graphics illustrating the key takeaways from the report; these address the following topics and can be included in news coverage of the report with source attribution to Everest Group:

  • More than 60 percent of BAO deals have an offshoring component;
  • The rise of the middle in BAO;
  • Multi-country BAO deal signings on the rise;
  • BAO market 2013: turbulent waters;
  • The Benefits Administration Outsourcing (BAO) market grew at 6 percent from 2012 – 2013; and
  • Healthcare exchanges: public/private fact sheet.

Everest Group’s BAO annual report provides comprehensive coverage of the 2013 BAO market across all geographies and industries. The report provides analysis across various dimensions such as market overview, spotlight on H&W outsourcing market, buyer adoption trends, solution and transaction trends, and service provider landscape.

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