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New 2015 Lindex® Scores Revealed!


Details coming soon on how to purchase our 2015 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© and/or Lindex Online® benchmarking tool.

We’ve just released the new Lindex® scores based on our 2015 Iowa Employer Benefits Study©. Introduced in 2013, the Lindex is an innovative tool that allows Iowa employers to distill voluminous and complicated benefits data into one relevant number.

An organization’s Lindex score will help Iowa employers:

  • Determine the competitiveness of their benefits package.
  • Attract and retain a high-quality workforce.
  • Decide whether benefit changes are required to keep your employee benefits competitive.

The Lindex is a composite score used as a reference when determining the quality of benefits offered by Iowa organizations. This index is the result of a sophisticated calculation based on the benefits data submitted by 1,001 Iowa organizations from the latest 2015 Iowa Employer Benefits Study©.

Calculated once a year, the Lindex ranges from 0 to 100, with low scores reflecting fewer benefits offered at a higher cost to employees, while higher scores indicate more benefits being offered at a competitive cost.

In 2015, the overall Lindex score for Iowa employers (regardless of employer size and industry) is 71. Last year’s overall Lindex score was 74, while the inaugural year (2013) scored at 72. A few primary reasons for the overall score dipping three points from 2014 is a result of fewer small employers offering health and dental coverage.

The Lindex score will vary based on the employer size and industry, which are two determining factors that effect employee benefits. For example, employers with fewer than 10 employees have a Lindex score of 57 (61 in 2014), while employers with at least 1,000 employees averaged 87 (82 in 2014). Employers in the retail industry averaged 60 (65 in 2014), while government employers averaged 91 (83 in 2014) .

Below is a summary of the Lindex scores based on organization size:

2015 Lindex - By Organization Size


Below is a summary of the Lindex scores based on industry:

2015 Lindex - By Industry


It’s important to note that an organization with a Lindex score of 62 might appear to be somewhat low when compared to the overall statewide score of 71, but if this score is above the average Lindex score for similar organizations based on size and industry, then it could be considered a competitive score for that organization.

Our 2015 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© and/or Lindex Online® benchmarking tool will be available for purchase within the next week. Please continue to check our website for details.

Should you wish to learn more about the Lindex, and how your organization can discover/attain/retrieve your own Lindex score, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of our website.

To stay abreast of employee benefits and healthcare issues, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.

Anticipating the Hockey Puck

2015 Iowa Employer Benefits Study“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
Wayne Gretzky, superstar NHL hockey player

Last week I received phenomenal news from our research firm, Data Point Research, indicating that Iowa employers have responded to our latest survey at a record pace! Our annual goal of randomly surveying at least 1,000 employers will be accomplished during the week of June 22 – a few weeks ahead of schedule. Kudos to Data Point!

Having at least 1,000 employers participate in our 17th survey is the next best thing to surveying EVERY employer in Iowa – but certainly a lot less expensive! Through our time-proven survey process, we are able to project highly statistically accurate results. This number of respondents allows us to update our Lindex Online® program providing the accuracy desired within the employer community.

As with each annual survey, we ask Iowa employers the core benefits-related questions, e.g.: health insurance components such as premium, employee contributions, deductibles and co-payments (office calls and Rx). Understanding these many key features is crucial to predict benefit trends in Iowa. This information calculates the Lindex® scores, which serve as Iowa’s employee-benefits index.

We also strive to learn much more from Iowa employers. Gaining insight into their challenges, preferences and behaviors can help us anticipate where that ‘hockey puck’ will eventually travel within the benefits-related healthcare ‘game.’ By asking these questions, like Gretzky, we’re better able to anticipate the direction of the puck.

So what additional modules did we include in this year’s survey? Here are three:

  1. Healthcare outcomes and challenges for employers – Using a six-point scale, employers rate the importance of five outcomes they hope to achieve and five challenges facing their organization.
  2. Employer views on the prevalence of medical errors performed within Iowa.
  3. Do employers see value in having more insurance companies competing for your business, and should healthcare provider systems become their own insurance company?

As in past years, we plan to have the results of this year’s study available by early September, generating both the summary report (Study) and the Lindex Online benchmarking tool. Needless to say, the month of August serves as my ‘tax season!’

As hockey superstar Gretzky also said, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”

I couldn’t agree more!

To stay abreast of employee benefits and healthcare issues, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.

Iowa Lindex© Score
Maybe Tied to Organizational Culture?

Lindex Online BenchmarkingDo you have a good sense of your organization’s culture? What sets your employer apart from other employers within your community? Are you consciously (and sub-consciously) making behavioral choices that reflect the essence of what your employer represents to its employees, customers, community and to the general public?

In its purest form, an organization’s ‘culture’ represents the collective values, beliefs and principals of its members – a product of many factors that include history, market, product, technology, type of employees, management style and environmental impacts from the community in which it operates. In other words, an organization’s culture represents the ‘DNA’ or identity that is unique to each employer.

Why is this important? Because it’s fascinating stuff!

Allow me to explain. Our Lindex Online Benchmarking® program allows Iowa employers to compare their benefits package to employers of similar size, industry and location. Upon completing an online questionnaire on a vast array of benefits and insurance options an employer offers at their workplace, the employer receives a report comparing their benefit offerings to those who responded in the most current Iowa Employer Benefits Study©.

This report produces a great deal of comparative information about many key benefits that are highly-desired by employees – including health and dental insurance, group life and disability coverages, retirement plans, sick leave and vacation, among others.

So with all of this benchmark information being compared and shared with the employer, how does an organization know if their plan offering is competitive? Easy! All information is distilled into one simple number – the Iowa Lindex score®.

The Lindex score is a complex algorithm that distills voluminous and complicated data into one relevant number between 0 and 100, providing clarity on just how competitive an employer’s benefits package is to other employers within Iowa. Lindex measures the availability, costs and use of many key benefits. This score is compared to the overall average Lindex score calculated for those who responded to the most recent survey.

For 2014, the statewide average Lindex score was 74. The Lindex gauge below displays the quartiles of scores, with the lowest quartile ranging from 0 to 64, the second quartile being 65 to 76, third quartile being 77 to 85, and the highest quartile at 86 to 100. An employer with an average Lindex score will be around 74.

2014 Lindex Gauge

As with an organization’s culture, not all employers are alike when offering employee benefits. With this in mind, once an employer learns their Lindex score, things can get quite interesting.

For example, when employers score in the highest quartile (green range), their reaction can vary wildly. One employer may wish to tout their strong score to their employees, attributing the results to a non-biased third-party tool (Lindex). After all, employee benefits constitute about one-third of total employee compensation.

But with this same high score, another employer may wish to keep this score under lock and key and strategically use this number to re-position their competitiveness at the desired mix of pay and benefits. Fundamentally, it is all about strategy – and, ultimately, their culture. There is no ‘right’ response – only the response that is ‘right’ for each organization.

The culture of an organization might determine how just one number will be used when deciding important benefit issues. From my perspective, this is quite enjoyable to watch!

To stay abreast of employee benefits and healthcare issues, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.