Private Health Insurance Exchanges: How Shopping Your Next Health Plan Might Look like Amazon

PR Newswire

IRVINE, Calif., July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Employers and employees searching for health care plans will soon have more options, according to Kyle J. Heppenstall, the Managing Director of CompassX Consulting, a consultancy focused on the health sector.

The Affordable Care Act has excessively publicized the concept of public health insurance exchanges. But most have heard little about private health insurance exchanges.  Private health insurance exchanges (PHIXs) are marketplaces where employees of private companies can purchase their own health insurance in a retail, "Amazon-like" self-directed fashion.

"The next one or two enrollment periods will begin to produce hard data as to the benefits of switching to PHIXs for employers of large corporations," says Heppenstall, who helps human resource executives execute on strategies that drive bottom line efficiencies.

Others seem to agree. According to Booz & Company, health insurance in the U.S. is at the cusp of a major transition, moving away from employer sponsored payor models. According to an Accenture study, 25% of all employers are already seriously evaluating switching to a PHIX. More so, companies like GE, IBM and Walgreens have already moved some of their employees to PHIXs.

To get Heppenstall's latest FREE research guide, "The Healthcare Executive's 4 Step Guide to Massive Results," visit www.compassx.com/freetools

"Here's the concept. Instead of your company contracting with a single large insurance payor (Aetna, United Health, etc) to handpick a limited number of plans for employees, instead employees would be allowed to self shop many different insurance carriers simultaneously. The paradigm shift is akin to employers replacing retirement pension funds with 401(K)s," he said.

The key benefit is that employees will have many more choices for insurance and health benefits with personalized decision support tools. For example, today you have the option of one insurance carrier with maybe five-to-twenty different plans. The carrier, plans, coverages, deductibles and co-pays have been specifically constructed for your employer. Through a PHIX, you will have the ability to shop thousands of plans with hundreds of insurance companies.

Employers also will benefit as they are eager to exit the business of managing traditional company-administered group coverages. That is potentially big value creation for a company with 250,000 employees like Walgreens.

Small and medium sized companies have been using PHIXs for years. Now many large corporations are test-driving the switch into PHIXs. 

"As PHIXs gain traction, expect to hear more about the switching costs, potential savings, and satisfaction levels they bring to bear," says Heppenstall. 

For information, go to www.compassx.com/

About Kyle J. Heppenstall 

Kyle Heppenstall is the Managing Director of CompassX Consulting, a Healthcare, Pharma and Life Sciences focused consulting group.  Kyle has been featured in publications such as: American Medical Association News, Corporate Compliance Insights, ZDNet and Investors Business Daily.

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