Affordable Health Care Benefits, Going Once, Going Twice…

March 20, 2006 ( - Results from a study conducted by HighRoads, a provider of benefits lifecycle management (BLM) solutions, demonstrate that employers can use competitive auctions to provide quality health and welfare benefits more affordably.

According to its press release, HighRoads’ benefit request-for-proposal (RFP) solution allows customers to conduct the entire RFP process online, from the creation of a questionnaire to the acceptance of vendor responses. Bids can be weighted, scored and compared to support decisionmaking.

Advantages of online RFPs, according to the company, include:

  • Compelling vendors to offer better prices,
  • Significantly reducing procurement cycle time while allowing more vendors to participate,
  • Streamlining proposal information in a consistent format, for apples-to-apples evaluation of vendor bids,
  • Enabling consolidation and reduction in the number of plans, driving administrative costs even lower, and
  • Automatically generating a comprehensive audit trail that complies with governmental regulations, including Sarbanes-Oxley

In the release, HighRoads said its first annual price elasticity survey shows that using a transparent bidding environment reduces contract costs by more than 15%, on average.

The survey is based on the outcomes of nearly 50 RFP processes by companies with 5,000 employees or more. On average, vendors revised bids 2-3 times to win a company’s business, reducing fees by 7% – 21% for fully insured and self-insured medical, dental, life, disability and other benefits plans.

Paul Daoust, chairman and CEO of HighRoads, said in the release, “Our survey shows that companies don’t have to simply accept [health care cost] increases – they can use the power of the marketplace to protect workers’ benefits and meet shareholders’ mandates to govern this leading cost concern.”

More information about HighRoads benefit RFP solutions can be found at .