Beginning October 1, employers in the Philadelphia five-county area with more than 100 employees will be able to use the exchange marketplace from Independence Blue Cross. The private exchange will offer medical, pharmacy, dental and vision coverage, all effective on or after January 1, 2015.
“Our customers are unique, and so are their employees,” says Linda Taylor, senior vice president and chief sales executive at Independence. “The Independence private exchange allows employees to play a key role in their personal health care decisions and make plan selections … online,” she adds.
The marketplace’s online shopping tool guides individuals through their plan options, making suggestions of the health care plans best suited to each, based upon their preferences—for instance, how frequently they visit a primary care physician. Employees can then make their selections and enroll online.
Employers can manage their annual health care budgets by setting a fixed dollar-amount to spend on each employee’s coverage, and groups with prescription drug, dental or vision coverage may be eligible for bundling discounts.
The emergence of a new health care exchange is part of a growing trend in employer preferences (see “Are Health Care Exchanges the Answer for Employers?”), but employers may wish to consider advice from Findley Davies before making a decision (see “Checklist for Evaluating Private Health Care Exchanges”).
More information about Independence Blue Cross, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is available here.