Private Exchanges vs. Self-Managed Plans: Are They Mutually Exclusive?

October 26, 2015

A common misperception among employers about private exchange solutions for their active employees is that they moving to an exchange means giving up control over their health care strategies and plans. According to Sherri Bockhorst, managing director of Towers Watson Exchange Solutions, this is not always the case.

While adopting an exchange does relieve employers of the day-to-day burden of managing their health benefits programs, some exchanges provide employers with the flexibility to configure their exchanges to meet their own business and organizational goals, says Bockhorst.

In a recent podcast interview with Brian Kalish, online managing editor of Employee Benefit Advisor, Bockhorst talked about the four pillars of a private exchange — choice, price transparency, decision support, and employee involvement — and explained the options that employers that have adopted OneExchange for their active employees have in each of these areas.

For example, when it comes to employee choice, employers can decide which carriers, how many plans, and what kind of plans to offer on their exchanges. In terms of price transparency, employers have the flexibility to adopt either a defined contribution model or a more more traditional payment model.

Bockhorst also pointed out that the assistance of an experienced advisor can help employers realize the full value of an exchange by asking the right questions to determine what kind of incentives, wellness programs, or other offerings they want to provide their employees.

To listen to the entire interview, click here.

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