A major player in the benefits market, Towers Watson, has joined the list of companies that say they have signed "Web broker entity" agreements with federal exchange program managers.

Towers Watson still needs to get certified as a federal exchange broker before it can actually sell the plans available through the "federally facilitated exchanges" to be run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS expects to run FFEs in 36 states.

But the agreement should clear the way for Towers Watson to connect its large private Medicare plan exchange program it built for its employer clients with the CMS "data hub" system.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, a senior reporter at ThinkAdvisor and BenefitsPRO, previously was an associate editor at National Underwriter Life & Health. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached through X at @Think_Allison.