The health care reform train keeps rolling along and as it approaches the Land of Health Insurance Exchanges, a lot of companies are looking out the window and considering their options. Private exchanges are here now, but the era of exchanges probably won’t begin in earnest until 2014, when the public exchanges become available. I discussed this with WillisWire editor Colleen McCarthy recently in an interview for WillisTV.
Clearly over the next several years we will see how cost-effective the exchange options may be and how employers and employees gravitate to them. If exchanges actually do offer a lower cost alternative that individuals and companies can tap into, they are also likely to support other health care benefits trends coming down the tracks:
- A move toward a defined contribution approach to health benefits
- An acceleration of the move toward wellness and consumerism
If companies choose to offer employees a lump sum and send them into the exchange marketplace—the defined contribution model—we can expect employees to take a very close look at the evolving insurance marketplace, their unique needs and their specific healthcare utilization trends that may have an increasing impact on the premiums they pay.
The times they are (ex)changing.
View our entire conversation in this brief video.