Mercer offering exchange coverage

Though the future of health reform is still unknown, most expect exchanges to have a place in selling and buying health insurance.

That’s why Mercer has developed a wide range of exchange-type offerings designed to help organizations manage their employee and retiree health plans “in order to reduce costs, manage risk and provide employees with quality, choice and simplicity.”

“Mercer is offering a wide variety of exchange solutions aimed at helping employers ensure they are in compliance with the U.S. health care reform law while continuing to provide benefits that are affordable and attractive,” says Sharon Cunninghis, U.S. leader of Mercer’s health and benefits business. “Mercer’s suite of solutions will help employers of all sizes and funding arrangements that wish to offer employees greater choice in the benefits they receive, while providing coverage in a cost-effective way.”

Mercer released the following information regarding their exchange options:

Mercer Health Advantage – Mercer Health Advantage allows self-funded employers with 3,000-plus employees to enroll their employees in new medical plans beginning Jan.1, 2013. These programs are designed to save employers 5 percent or more of medical plan cost with the same plan design they have in place today. The savings come from select networks with providers chosen for their quality and cost effectiveness. Employers also gain access to dedicated MHA clinical care management with ongoing oversight and audit by a team of Mercer clinicians. Mercer plans to offer MHA to smaller self-funded employers in 2014.

Mercer Benefits Choice Exchange – Mercer is expanding its private exchange, Mercer Benefits Choice Exchange, which it has piloted in the Midwest. Powered by an elegant decision-making support tool, MBCE is designed to help organizations with 100–1,000 employees offer workers more options with less administrative responsibility. MBCE lets employers contribute a set amount to a HRA; employees then select the coverage that is best for them using an online decision support and enrollment tool.

Retiree Medical Exchanges – There is a significant shift taking place in the retiree health benefit market corresponding to the growing employer demand for solutions targeted at current and future retirees. To meet this demand, Mercer has entered into arrangements with several leading vendors to leverage any employer subsidy available for retiree coverage by converting to a defined contribution model that lets retirees purchase the individual coverage that best meets their needs.

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