14 Oct Private Exchanges As The Future Of Health Insurance
Post Written By Bruce Sherman, Medical Director, Population Health Management, Buck Consultants at Xerox
Private exchanges are thriving. An Oliver Wyman study estimates that private exchange enrollment will surpass ACA exchange enrollment by 2018 with nearly 40 million enrollees. One of the most significant reasons supporting the rise in private exchanges is reduced healthcare costs. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative found 64 percent of employers that have switched to a private exchange report that the move has saved the company money.
Although businesses are focused on controlling benefits spending, it’s also critical to ensure employees are healthy, enabling them to be optimally productive. Seventy-eight percent of employers worldwide are strongly committed to creating a workplace culture of health and boosting individual engagement and organizational performance, according to a recent Buck Consultants at Xerox survey on global wellness. Private health exchanges may be the solution to increasing productivity and providing more options to consumers while also lowering healthcare costs for businesses and their employees.
Church & Dwight moved to Buck Consultants’ RightOpt private exchange beginning in 2014. As a result of the move to RightOpt, over the following two years the company experienced flat medical and dental costs, eliminating the impact of healthcare trend for that period. This was done without cost shifting to employees, who also saw a benefit of additional plan choices. For the 2014 plan year Church & Dwight was able to offer employees a combination of preferred provider organization and consumer-directed health plans. They also launched a company-wide wellness program for the first time. To ensure employee engagement and participation, Church & Dwight conducted in-person training sessions to bring human resources professionals up to speed on the changes.
Employees were overwhelmingly responsive to the changes, and 82 percent of medical plan participants completed HRA/biometric screenings as part of the new wellness initiative. The portal also averaged 7.1 visits per employee, and the sections they frequently visited demonstrated that they were interested in actively managing their health and financials.
Keeping employees healthy makes business sense, and private exchanges play a role in ensuring employees are at their peak and positively impacting the company’s bottom line.