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There’s plenty of discussion about private exchanges these days. Can a single-carrier platform really be called an exchange? Is an exchange just an enrollment platform with a defined contribution capability? What if it doesn’t include medical? Is it just an enrollment capability wrapped in some new marketing hype? And what does “private exchange” mean anyway? These are all fair questions and the debate will continue.

But there may be a more fundamental issue underlying private exchanges. Even if the exchange carries multiple products from multiple carriers, the most important issue may be whether delivering an exchange to a client changes the position of the exchange owner with respect to that client.

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