A private exchange is a health benefits marketplace to which an employer can direct its employees to purchase health coverage from a single or multiple participating organizations, including insurance carriers and provider networks.
Human resources consulting firm Findley Davies notes that not all exchanges are created equal and recommends employers consider the following factors in their decisionmaking process:
- What are the company’s benefit plan objectives, and does it make sense to move to a private exchange based on these objectives?
- Is moving to an exchange cost-effective for the organization and employees?
- What does moving to a private exchange entail?
- What are the options for both insured and self-funded arrangements?
- How will offering benefits through an exchange impact the company’s employment value proposition, as well as its health management strategy?
- What additional fees and commissions are built into the rates under a private exchange?
The firm also recommends employers speak with the appropriate advisers or consultants to review their short- and long-term health care strategies and take a fresh look at their objectives.
Findley Davies offers a checklist of issues and questions it addresses when helping employers evaluate private exchanges. The checklist is here.