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The Rise of Retail Health Coverage: PwC on Private Exchanges and Defined Contribution
Retail health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, are dramatically changing both the employer benefits environment and the health insurance business. PwCs Health Research Institute finds that employers faced with rising costs and regulatory demands are moving away from the benefit business, pushing individual consumers to take on new responsibility for their own health insurance. This will fuel significant growth of health exchanges over the next decade in the new health economy.

Health exchanges have existed for years in various forms, but the launch of the Affordable Care Acts public exchanges and the emergence of several new private exchanges have broadened awareness of the concept. While the public exchanges have already enrolled eight million in the first year and are poised to grow rapidly over the next few years, the shift to retail-style private exchanges may be a longer process.

Exchanges may be most attractive to employers looking to shift healthcare decision-making to their employees. Employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees will have the option of sending workers to the public exchanges without penalty, while for some companies, private exchanges may offer more affordable insurance than they could obtain on their own. According to PwCs 2014 Touchstone survey of 1,200 employers, 32 percent of employers are considering moving their active employees to a private exchange in the next three years. In addition to alleviating administrative burden, the move to a private exchange presents additional benefits that would otherwise require too much time and money for many employers to implement on their own, such as integrated wellness programs, online benefit sites and consumer decision support.

Please join PwC's Caitlin Sweany, Senior Manager, Health Research Institute, and Stacy Sachen, Advisory Principal, on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 12 PM Eastern as they discuss PwCs Health Research Institute new report The Rise of Retail Health Coverage, and related PwC research, insights and perspectives regarding the continued evolution towards private exchanges including defined contribution approaches. Click here for detailed information and to register or call 209.577.4888.
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