Majority Of Health Insurance Leaders Believe Most Employers Will Offer Benefits Through Private Exchange By 2016

The majority of health insurance leaders (57 percent) believe that most employers will offer health care benefits to employees through a private health insurance exchange by the end of 2016, according to a recent survey of 88 health insurance leaders by Array Health. If just polling health insurers, this number increases to 63 percent.

Background. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) created public Health Insurance Exchanges, which are online marketplaces for individuals and small businesses to purchase health coverage. While private exchanges have been around for several years, the ACA has created interest in private exchanges for both active employees and retirees.

Private exchange prevalence. The survey, Health Check: A Survey on Private Health Insurance Exchanges, found the following:

  • Thirty-three percent of respondents believe that within the next three years, more employers will use a defined contribution approach to providing benefits as opposed to the traditional method. This is up from 24 percent in 2013, Array Health noted.
  • The majority of survey respondents hold the belief that individual consumers are more aware of private exchanges than they were one year ago. In 2014, 20 percent said they believed individuals were “very aware” of private exchanges, and 79 percent believed individuals were “somewhat aware.”
  • More than half of health insurer respondents said they will offer a private single-insurer exchange to customers by the end of 2014; and 93 percent of all survey respondents believe that most health insurers will have their own single-insurer exchange by 2018.
  • Private exchanges in the future will offer more than just core medical, dental and vision plans, according to Array Health. Sixty-six percent of respondents believe that insurers will supplement their private exchange offerings with other types of coverages by January 2015.

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