Highmark, Blues to create private exchanges
Highmark is piloting a private health insurance exchange that targets small businesses with up to 99 employees.
Pennsylvania's largest health insurer has partnered with Seattle-based Array Health to run the exchange, which will operate from January to July. Highmark will test the concept and then determine whether to expand the exchange, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Employers using the exchange will provide a monthly fixed-dollar amount for each employee's insurance. Employees can then visit the online exchange to select from seven Highmark health plans and two dental and vision insurance plans, Central Penn Business Journal reports.
The exchange includes a product marketplace with tools to compare and explore the plans, plus an administrative section allowing employers and insurance brokers to oversee health benefits.
"We believe that if (small businesses) can offer their employees a fixed-dollar amount toward the purchase of insurance, then we can help insure more individuals and the employer can manage long-term health care costs," said Steven Nelson, Highmark's senior vice president of health services strategy, product and marketing.
Meanwhile, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City has introduced its own private exchange available to individuals or small business employees. It allows customers to compare rates of up to 10 different Blue health plans; non-customers can see the plans but not the pricing until they apply and go through the underwriting process, according to The Kansas City Star.
To learn more:
- see the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article
- read the Central Penn Business Journal article
- read the Kansas City Star article
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