Private exchanges are an ever-popular option for employers to provide health insurance to both their active and retiree populations. Estimates put the number of private exchanges at around 150, but according to PricewaterHouseCoopers Health Research Institute, they can be broken into four types. Barbara Gniewek, principal and private exchange lead with PwC in New York City, explains these are grouped based on their genesis, or their beginnings.
So how does an employer pick which model to choose? Employers often rely on their advisers, including brokers and consultants – many of whom have their own exchanges. Gniewek says when PwC helps a client they do two main things as an evaluation:
First, an understanding what the employer is looking for, including making their own plan design or enhancing a strategy they already have. “Depending on what they are looking for, exchanges that meet their needs can differ greatly,” she says.
PwC also helps employers understand the different models and which plays to their employee size. “Which ones can best meet [employer’s] needs?” she asks. “That is what the consultant needs to do.”