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Nearly One in Four Employers Say Private Health Insurance Exchanges Could Provide a Viable Alternative for Full-Time Active Employees in 2016

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Nearly One in Four Employers Say Private Health Insurance Exchanges Could Provide a Viable Alternative for Full-Time Active Employees in 2016
Source: Towers Watson

Results of a July 2014 survey of midsize to large employers by global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) showed that 28% said they had already extensively evaluated the viability of private exchanges. Nearly one in four (24%) said private exchanges could provide a viable alternative for their active full-time employees as soon as 2016.

The results are from the 2014 Towers Watson Health Care Changes Ahead Survey, which was completed by 379 employee benefit professionals from a variety of industries and reflect health care benefit decisions for 2016 – 2017.

The survey also revealed that the top three factors that would cause employers to adopt a private exchange for full-time active employees are:

  • Evidence they can deliver greater value than their current self-managed model (64%)
  • Adoption of private exchanges by other large companies in their industry (34%)
  • An inability to stay below the excise tax ceiling as 2018 approaches (26%)
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2014 Consumer Insurance Sentiments

September 28, 2014 Comments off

2014 Consumer Insurance Sentiments
Source: Nielsen

Compared with traditional, tangible goods, insurance is somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to the consumer’s purchasing experience. Unlike a car or box of cereal, insurance isn’t something that a consumer can experience through touch or sight. In the insurance world, consumers are primarily limited to making comparisons about a series of “if/then” statements printed on paper. Furthermore, since consumers can’t interact with their policies, they typically don’t show them off or brag about their coverage limits with their friends or family members.

Given the inherent nature of insurance, Nielsen’s Consumers Insurance Sentiments study highlights how auto and residential policyholders tend to buy their insurance and then forget about it. In that respect, it’s not surprising that more than one in four respondents (28%) currently covered indicated that they have been covered by the same primary policy for 15 years or more for each policy type.

Other highlights include:

  • Switching providers is less frequent with age
  • Younger generations are harder to please
  • The purchase rationale for life insurance is changing
  • Older customers may be under-insured

Local Watch: Where You Live and Its Impact on Your Choices

September 26, 2014 Comments off

Local Watch: Where You Live and Its Impact on Your Choices
Source: Nielsen

There’s never been a time when U.S. consumers have had as much video content to choose from as they do today. But even with myriad options—and more coming online every day—few areas of the media landscape have the power to engage consumers the way local TV does.

Amid a changing landscape of media consumption and consumer habits, the unique nature of local markets stands out as a major differentiator. The choices we make each day about what to watch and what to buy are greatly influenced by our immediate surroundings, our communities, towns and cities.

This quarter we turn our attention to two local markets with distinctive characteristics apart from their geography: San Francisco and Cincinnati.

Free registration required to access report.

CFOs and Sustainability: Shaping their roles in an evolving environment

September 26, 2014 Comments off

CFOs and Sustainability: Shaping their roles in an evolving environment
Source: Deloitte

Deloitte’s new whitepaper, CFOs and Sustainability: Shaping their roles in an evolving environment, reveals numerous trends in the environmental, health, safety, and social impacts of the enterprise:

  • CFOs are becoming more involved in setting and executing sustainability strategy.
  • The impact of sustainability on key financial decisions has increased in M&A, capital allocation, and capital raising.
  • Compliance with new energy efficiency and carbon regulations remain areas of high concern.

Many additional insights may be found in the whitepaper, which summarizes Deloitte’s most-recent survey; puts the findings in context with similar surveys from prior years; and provides Deloitte’s analysis and suggestions regarding potential action steps.

In addition, the paper can enhance a CFO’s understanding of his or her role in sustainability by providing a window on the sustainability activities of peers and competitors.

Workforce 2020: The Looming Talent Crisis

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Workforce 2020: The Looming Talent Crisis
Source: Oxford Economics

Preparing for the 2020 workforce is critical to business strategy, growth, and performance. To understand the challenges and opportunities, Oxford Economics and SAP surveyed over 2,700 executives and more than 2,700 employees in 27 countries during the second quarter of 2014.

Based on survey responses, this report shows that many companies lack the structure, strategy, culture, solutions and resources to manage employees effectively. In order to succeed, a number of factors need to be addressed, including the role and relevance of people strategy; changing demographics and evolving definitions of work; leadership ability and cultivation; employee wants and needs; and talent development.

Global Payments 2014: Capturing the Next Level of Value

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Global Payments 2014: Capturing the Next Level of Value
Source: Boston Consulting Group

The payments and transaction-banking businesses continue to represent vital elements of the banking industry and the global financial-services landscape. The importance of these businesses both as critical sources of stable revenues and as the foundation of customer relationships and loyalty has grown steadily in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. The growth in payments and transaction banking, moreover, is driving stiff competition among not only traditional players but new entrants as well. Consequently, financial institutions must differentiate themselves, refine their strategies, and raise their execution skills if they want to remain competitive.

In this twelfth edition of The Boston Consulting Group’s Global Payments report, we offer a comprehensive overview of the industry. We then take a regional approach to retail (consumer) payments—exploring the most important trends in Europe, North America, and rapidly developing economies (RDEs, also commonly referred to as emerging markets)—before closing with a global examination of the wholesale transaction-banking business.

Deloitte Survey: Where There is Reward for Travel, There is Risk

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Deloitte Survey: Where There is Reward for Travel, There is Risk
Source: Deloitte

Three-quarters (75 percent) of frequent travelers expect their loyalty program data to be secured to at least the same standard as a financial institution — but only 33 percent feel their accounts are secure enough, according to a new Deloitte study, “Loyalty data security: Are hospitality and travel companies managing the risks of their rewards programs?”

Few frequent travelers appear fully aware of the wider risks involved when loyalty data — including travel schedules and other personal data — is lost or stolen. Roughly one in seven (15 percent) are simply concerned that a breach would result in a loss of loyalty points, while the majority of travelers (76 percent) worry about the loss of credit card numbers.

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