Number of employers using private exchanges up 114% during past 18 months
- The Private Benefit Exchange Index shows that the number of employers using private exchanges for employee benefits rose 144% between June 2015 through the end of December 2016, reports Employee Benefits Adviser.
- By year’s end, 37,800 employers had moved workers to private exchanges, and 2.8 million employees had signed up for benefits through online marketplaces. These sites provided benefits for 5.6 million people.
- A SHRM report published in December, “How Private Exchanges Are Coming of Age,” projected that more employers would use private exchanges to provide benefits for workers.
Whether the rise in employers using private exchanges will continue through 2017 is unknown, although the SHRM report suggests that it might because benefits offerings have expanded.
The Affordable Care Act’s anticipated repeal might reduce the number or type of health plans that exchanges offer. ACA opponents objected to the law’s mandate requiring plan providers to offer certain types of health coverage.
Employers with sizable budgets can offer workers an array of benefits to meet employees’ personal needs and lifestyles and to attract talented job seekers. Small businesses will need to get creative and offer no- or low-cost benefits to retain employees and compete for talent.