According to a recent press release, the two firms will combine strategic guidance and actuarial services with a health insurance exchange to help employers manage health care costs for Medicare-eligible retirees, while adding to their choices and buying power. The collaboration is expected to relieve some of the administrative burden associated with managing retiree insurance issues and annual plan review and renewal. The terms of their agreement were not disclosed.
Extend Health’s private Medicare exchange enables end-to-end electronic transmission of enrollment information between the exchange and insurance carriers, streamlining the enrollment process as well as plan administration, claims processing and reimbursements. Mercer will provide consulting services to employers in the early part of their transitions, offer information on their actuarial and legal concerns, and guide them through the design of retiree subsidies.
The announcement stated that together Mercer and Extend Health plan to provide ongoing customer service and advocacy with health insurance carriers. Both will manage retiree communication through transitions, as well as annually for renewals during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.
“Many large employers prefer to continue providing medical benefits for Medicare-eligible retirees by giving retirees a subsidy to help pay for individual coverage,” said David P. Rahill, US Region Leader for Mercer Health and Benefits business, in the announcement. “Purchasing individual plans on a health insurance exchange empowers retirees with more choice and personalization in health plans. At the same time, employers can better manage costs and cap future liabilities.”
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