Kaiser Family Foundation: Private exchanges could reshape the health insurance industry


Private exchanges have the potential to "reshape employer-sponsored health insurance," according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

KFF conducted interviews with more than 20 private health insurance platforms, as well as plans that intend to jump on board the private exchange bandwagon. Out of the 20 interviewed, the report notes that 10 are full-blown private exchanges, based on KFF's definition of a private exchange.

Two main takeaways from the report include:

The size of the private market exchange will continue to rise

According to the data collected, nearly 2.5 million people enrolled through private exchanges in 2014, which include 1.7 million group plan enrollees, 700,000 individual Medicare enrollees and 100,000 individual enrollees.

Private exchanges continue to build traction--according to the 2014 Kaiser Employer Health Benefits Survey, 13 percent of employers with 200 or more workers expressed interest in private exchanges, notes the report.

It's possible 39 million individuals will be on the private exchanges come 2018, according to an Oliver Wyman study, as referenced in the report.

The landscape is shifting for employers

As the industry evolves, the trend of employers moving their employees to a private exchange continues to grow. This shift not only provides employees with more options, but also offers employers the potential for cost stability, notes the report. Private exchanges have the potential to lower the rate of rising health costs, especially if there is an increase in carrier competition.

What's more, certain private exchanges are hoping larger companies move to fully insured if they join the exchange.

Further, it's possible private exchanges operated by private companies could "set in motion a process that will firmly establish managed competition as the predominant way of buying and selling health insurance and open the market to innovative high-value systems," FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

For more
- here's the KFF report (.pdf)

Related Articles:
Private exchanges gain ground in competitive health insurance marketplace
Private exchanges continue to build momentum
Private exchanges key to industry reform
Employers continue to shift workers onto private exchanges