Report: 1 in 5 Will Buy Coverage via Private Exchanges by 2017
Nearly 20% of U.S. residents will purchase health insurance through a privately operated exchange in the next four years, according to a new report by Accenture Research, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.
Under privately run exchanges, employers can allow their workers to select from a range of health plans through a marketplace -- similar to the exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. Private exchanges rely on a defined employer contribution, allowing businesses to better plan for future expenses, according to "Healthwatch."
The report predicted that private marketplaces will "upend ... purchasing for many of the 170 million people who receive benefits through their employer." The report noted that surveys by benefits consultants Mercer and Aon Hewitt found that 25% of businesses are considering using a private exchange in the next five years.
Accenture noted that relatively few U.S. residents understand that private exchanges "shift considerable financial responsibility to employees," which "creates tremendous opportunity for carriers, brokers and employers to take credit for enhanced experience, yet also creates equally tremendous risk as dissatisfied consumers will blame plan sponsors" (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 6/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.