Are Exchanges the “silver bullet”?

Exchanges for employers are not new. They have existed for decades. Since the Federal government decided to launch an Exchange, existing Exchanges are advertising more heavily and new ones are cropping up hoping to “ride a wave” of interest. Exchanges simply allow an employer to remove itself from establishing the plan menu and transfer all plan selections onto employees. The downside of reducing some benefit administration is the employer’s complete inability to control escalating healthcare costs. No control over plan design or selection in order to support healthier behaviors. No involvement in price negotiation with the vendors and carriers associated with the Exchange. A flat dollar contribution doesn’t change anything: the employer’s cost share must still increase over time in order to keep pace with the escalating cost of the health plans and healthcare. Exchanges have never been game changers. They are just buses going up the same old, steep hill employers have been driving up for years.

It’s time for employers to seriously consider the next generation of health plans and the solutions which support them. These are game changers. The future is bright.

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