Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc, today announced more than 100,000 U.S. employees will be enrolling in health benefits through its fully insured, multi-carrier corporate health care exchange this fall.
Aon Hewitt's Corporate Exchange is a full-service model that includes a full suite of consumer-based decision support tools that turns selecting health benefits into a retail shopping experience. Similar to the 20 million employees and families for whom Aon Hewitt administers health benefits, individuals in Aon Hewitt's exchange will have access to a wide range of benefits experts and advisors, including its industry-leading Advocacy Support team, to answer questions and provide guidance during enrollment and throughout the year.
"There are examples in every industry, including iTunes, Amazon.com and Orbitz, where the introduction of competition on a retail, consumer level has driven down prices and made the industry more efficient," said Ken Sperling, Aon Hewitt's national health exchange strategy leader. "The Aon Hewitt Corporate Exchange is a viable alternative for companies searching for solutions that can reduce cost, transfer risk to insurers, empower employees to make smarter health care choices and create a more sustainable health care benefit program."
Through Aon Hewitt's exchange, employees and their families will have access to a broader array of health, dental and vision benefits options than they would through their traditional employer-sponsored plan. Benefits will be offered by nine unique national and regional carriers, including UnitedHealthcare, Cigna and Health Care Service Corporation, which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans for 14 million members, including 5 million national account members.
"Private health care exchanges enable employers to offer a wide range of health insurance options so their employees can choose a health care plan that is best suited for them and their families," said Elizabeth Winsor, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare National Accounts. "We welcome the opportunity to participate in Aon Hewitt's groundbreaking new corporate exchange."
Multiple research reports show there is growing interest among both employers and employees in corporate exchanges. Aon Hewitt's 2012 Corporate Health Exchange survey of more than 562 employers shows more than 40 percent of employers expect to participate in a health care exchange in the next three-to-five years. Another study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates in March 2012 revealed that approximately 41 percent of employer-insured health plan members would use a private health insurance exchange approach if it were available.
"Business Roundtable policy has long supported a viable range of options for employers and employees," said Business Roundtable President John Engler. "This plan is an example of an initiative that can increase health care choice and quality and is the kind of innovation that can really make a difference."