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NEWS - More Employers Considering Private Exchanges

December 15, 2014 – Employers remain committed to providing medical benefits for employees, and almost half have or will consider a private exchange for full-time active employees before 2018.

A survey from the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC) shows employers are increasingly committed to providing medical benefits in 2016 and beyond.

Results from the PEEC’s second annual survey of employee health benefits indicate 97% of respondents are very likely to offer medical coverage to at least some employees in 2016, up from 77% predicting they would offer such benefits by 2016 last year.

Private health insurance exchanges are one option employers are exploring in order to minimize health care costs, reduce their administrative burden, and increase benefit choices. A small percentage of employers have implemented private exchanges for 2015 (6.4% for actives), but interest in private exchanges as an option for full-time active employees over the next several years is increasing. This year’s survey finds one out of five (20%) employers are considering private exchanges as an option for 2016, and 41% say private exchanges will be an option by 2018. Additionally, a majority (57%) of employers agreed that if an industry peer moved to a private exchange they would be more likely to do so.

In considering a private exchange, employers say cost is a key consideration. The survey by PEEC reveals 98% say the cost of plan design options is important, 97% say administrative fee levels are important, and 95% say disclosure of exchange fees and revenue is important. For employers who have already implemented an exchange, saving money and consumer choice were the top two reasons for doing so.

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