Doing the right thing for employees pays off for Travelport

Posted by Guest Blogger, Meredyth Brown, Manager, U.S. Health and Wellbeing Programs, Travelport

Today, Meredyth presented on the Employer Panel at the Dallas Fort Worth Business Group on Health on the topic ‘Quantum Leap: How Data-Driven Transparency Elevates Your Benefits Game’. Meredyth Brown is Manager of U.S. Health and Wellbeing Programs at Travelport. She is responsible for plan design, management and overall administration in providing group medical, dental, vision, flex spending, life & AD&D, and wellness programs to Travelport US employees. Travelport has been a Castlight customer since 2014.

It was 2014. Like many self-insured businesses, we at Travelport were experiencing dramatically rising healthcare costs. The trend was unsustainable. That’s when we started searching for a solution to help employees become better healthcare consumers. We needed our folks to understand and appreciate the true cost of healthcare. In addition, we wanted our employees to be able to identify quality providers and services to make well-informed decisions.

Our team reviewed the options and narrowed the list to Castlight Health and one other vendor. Castlight’s health benefits platform quickly stood out due to its design, ease of use, mobile application and clear implementation plan. Their future products and features development was also a strong selling point.

With our global headquarters in the UK, Travelport offers the world’s only true Travel Commerce Platform. We facilitate travel commerce by connecting the world’s leading travel providers—airlines, hotels, car rental firms, and rail companies—with travel agencies and buyers in more than 170 countries. As an $8 trillion industry, the world of travel is big business.

Our workforce of slightly more than 1,400 employees in the U.S. provides us with a key competitive edge. Our people are tech-savvy, but they’re also very conscious of their privacy—especially regarding medical issues and information. With that in mind, we opted for a soft rollout of Castlight—emails, our annual enrollment planner, and a video—describing the platform and its benefits.

With minimal promotion, we got excellent employee engagement with a 35% overall household registration and a 46% return rate within a 90-day period.

In January, we began offering a new high-deductible health plan (HDHP) linked with a health savings account (HSA) and achieved an excellent 60% uptake.

With Castlight, employees enjoy a personalized and integrated user experience. At the touch of a key, they can view claims, deductibles, and year-to-date spend in one place. And the feedback we’re getting has been very positive!

• “I was looking for pricing on a CT scan for my daughter. I found that the best price was very close to my house.”

• “I’ve used the prescription costs (in Castlight) for income tax purposes.”

• “It’s good to have all my medical information in one place.”

For my team, it’s great to be able to get insights from our population. Although our plan benefit designs are yearly, we are able to see if there is a spike in Emergency Room (ER) usage, and target communications through Castlight on related topics like providing tips on how to avoid the ER.

In the end, perhaps our biggest motivating factor was that it was simply the right thing to do for our employees: engaging them in their benefits and putting them in full control of their healthcare decisions. The fact that we continue to keep our healthcare costs below our carrier’s book of business was simply a nice bonus.