Employers believe premiums are increasing and private exchanges can save the day

Perception is reality. That’s why a recent article in The Hill is good news for agents who have a private exchange solution for their clients.

In a survey of 266 health insurance decision makers, from CEOs and CFOs to HR professionals, nearly 60% reported that they believe health insurance premiums will increase as a result of the Affordable Care Act. That has been the conventional wisdom for the past four years, but whether it’s true or not, employers believe it’s true, and that creates an opportunity for agents to offer a solution.

The even better news from the article is that these same employers are showing an interest in moving employees to private exchanges, and the market is far from saturated – currently, only about 2% of employers offer a private exchange to their employees. While many articles about private exchanges have focused on group exchanges, which do ease the administrative burden on employers by allowing them to switch to a defined contribution approach that offers employees a choice of health plans rather than picking a one-size-fits-all solution for their workforce, this article really doesn’t specify whether employers are interested in group or individual private exchanges. The truth is, with only 2% market saturation, chances are that employers aren’t sure what they want.

Brokers who want to sway employers’ opinions need to be able to show a trend, and the news media right now is giving agents lots of ammo to use if they want to illustrate that trend. There have been a ton of stories recently, many of which we’ve quoted in previous blog posts, about the millions of Americans flocking to the individual market and the billions of dollars employers could save by dissolving their group health plans. If a broker were to put together some of those articles and add this one from The Hill to the mix, she’d have a pretty good story to tell to her prospective employer clients. And right after telling the story, she could show them their customized Insight Catalyst Report (ICR) followed by a tour of her private exchange website. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

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