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Private Exchanges and Voluntary Benefits Grow Together

Posted by Laura McMullen on Fri, May 20, 2016

Several trends and market conditions came together to make private exchanges possible. Joe Markland of HR Technology Advisors sums them up well in this piece for Employee Benefit Advisor:

  • Employers want simpler ways to offer benefits to employees, i.e. online tools vs. employee meetings.
  • Employers are looking for more and better outsource services, i.e. single signup for payroll and benefits.
  • Employers want predictable costs for benefits, i.e. defined contribution payment model.
  • Employees want more financial wellness information as they take more responsibility for their healthcare costs, i.e. investment strategies for 401(k)s and HSAs.

Another trend that has surfaced recently is the combination of private exchanges and voluntary benefits. hCentive added Assurant Employee Benefits, Chard Snyder, and Guardian, among other benefits, to its WebInsure Benefits offering. Liazon partnered with Aflac to offer critical incident, accident, and hospital indemnity. And employees are signing up: Liazon reported that “nearly half of employees buying a qualifying health plan purchased a voluntary offering during 2015 open enrollment.” About 35% of employees in Mercer’s Marketplace bought at least one voluntary benefit in 2015.

These offerings are more than the traditional dental and vision plans that have become commonplace in employee benefits. Employee Benefit News/Employee Benefit Advisor and SourceMedia Research surveyed 273 organizations representing a broad spectrum of employers. These employers expressed interest in a wide range of nonmedical benefits:


The top three benefits, wellness, retirement, and financial/retirement services, are traditionally included to some degree in large company benefit packages. Private exchanges make these capabilities more accessible to smaller companies although the survey’s authors note “relatively few (11%) of employers in the under-100-employee segment reported being ‘very interested’ in the prospect of incorporating wellness and retirement benefits into private exchanges.”

Other categories on the list such as privacy protection, legal services, and gym memberships have been included in expanded benefit offerings for some time. The strong representation in the neutral and somewhat interested levels could indicate that since these benefits are already voluntary, there’s no need to move them to an exchange. This thinking could change as exchanges become more prevalent.

Defined contribution funding for employee benefits takes the art of workplace marketing to a whole new level. Is there an opportunity for your business?

Tags: health insurance, employee benefits, Voluntary Benefits, defined benefit plan, Private Exchanges

Join Me at World Congress!

Posted by Aaron Groffman on Wed, Feb 20, 2013

World Congress logoHealth plans, insurance carriers and brokers will convene March 13-15, 2013, to learn how to leverage ancillary and voluntary products to increase their competitive edge and meet the needs of a consumer-driven market.

The World Congress 3rd Annual Leadership Summit on Ancillary Products and Voluntary Benefits will take place in Orlando and feature industry-leading speakers from CIGNA, United Healthcare, VSP Visioncare, Integrated Benefits Institute, Prudential, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Health Plan Week and more. Session topics include meeting consumer needs, health reform, member acquisition, public and private healthcare exchanges, business innovations and other issues affecting the healthcare industry.

Join me on March 14th as I present “Using BIG Data to Get BIG Results in Ancillary Benefits.” We will explore the following ideas:

  • What’s big data? Does it apply to healthcare?
  • Learn how other carriers are using their big data to create competitive advantages.
  • Teach your sales and network teams to leverage big data to get big results.

If you'd like to attend the World Congress, be sure to register with promo code TAU676 and save $400 off of your attendance fee! (Discount is not valid toward government rates.)

I would love to see you in Orlando. Will you be attending the summit? 

Tags: dental insurance, Ancillary benefits, Vision insurance, Managed Care, Specialty Benefits, Ancillary Products, Voluntary Benefits, Benefit Design, Benefits Consultants, Insurance Brokers, Health plan, World Congress





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