Private Health Exchanges Provide Tailored Options

Charleston Gazette - The Affordable Care Act marketplace concept is catching on — in the private sector. Read

A growing number of independent private health-care exchanges are sprouting up around the country, including some in West Virginia.

These exchanges operate as online health-care stores where consumers customize their health-care portfolio. Some of the exchanges are run through existing insurance companies that service employer sponsored health-care plans and others are independent web broker exchanges servicing individual consumers.

The idea is the same: give the health-care consumer more freedom in selecting a plan that best fits their health-care needs.

Erin Snyder, health analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said private health exchanges may be the future of employer-sponsored health care.

Instead of a standard cookie-cutter health-care plan option for all employees a private market enables employees to take an allotted amount of cash from their employer to the marketplace.

"It gives employees more options to tailor health insurance to their health needs while taking away some of the administrative burden for the employer," Snyder said.


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