Mercer's Marketplace exchange experienced explosive growth during the 2015 open enrollment period, the company announced Wednesday. Initial numbers reveal that participation increased nearly fivefold from the previous year.

Mercer said 247 — including 40 new clients — now use the exchange. These companies represent more than 500,000 employees and retirees, and when dependents are included, nearly one million total lives.

By comparison, a year ago the exchange served 52 companies, with 110,000 eligible employees and 220,000 covered lives.

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