Orlando, FL – May 6, 2014 – PlanSource, a cloud-based provider of benefits administration, exchange, payroll, and HRIS solutions to employers, today announced the results of its first annual Private Healthcare Exchange Survey, which found that 60 percent of senior level benefit decision makers feel the cost of healthcare will rise as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The survey was fielded by Employee Benefit News from March 25 – 28, 2014, among 266 industry professionals including CFOs, HR executives, and benefit managers.
Only two percent of decision makers have chosen a private exchange for their employees, with another two percent opting for a public healthcare exchange. A quarter (22 percent) of those surveyed have considered a private exchange but have chosen to not partake in one. Eight percent of respondents were undecided, while six percent are interested in speaking to a carrier or broker about setting up an exchange.
The key challenges – besides cost – that employers identified with providing benefits to employees included:
- Educating employees on benefit choices – 65 percent
- Internal resource challenges in managing both employee issues and managing benefit providers – 33 percent
- Getting information to employees on available insurance resources – 30 percent
- Internal technology challenges – 26 percent
- Finding / managing benefit plans beyond just medical, dental, vision, and basic life insurance plans – 18
- None – 18 percent
When asked what private exchanges should offer employees, 79 percent of respondents felt the top priority was to offer competitive healthcare choices for their employees. Other responses included:
- Make choosing insurance plans easier and quicker – 66 percent
- Help them make better selections on insurance plans – 65 percent
- Offer more competitive choices – 47 percent
- Provide an online shopping experience for benefits like Amazon – 43 percent
- Offer a wider range of benefit choices, beyond just medical, dental, and vision – 43 percent
Respondents were split on how the growth of private healthcare exchanges will impact the role of insurance brokers in the benefits planning, choice, and management process. A full 29 percent felt private exchanges would decrease the importance of brokers, while 26 percent felt the opposite. More than 32 percent said they were not sure of the effect.
“Our research highlights what a huge opportunity there is for private exchanges in the healthcare industry,” said Scott Carver, President of PlanSource. “As our survey shows, the main challenge for the majority of decision makers in the benefits space is educating their employees on benefit choices. As employers learn more, we’re confident that private exchanges will see significant growth. We’re committed to connecting brokers, carriers, and employers to power those exchanges”
The survey responses also validate the strengths of PlanSource’s MyPlanSource marketplace and exchange offering, which is designed specifically to help employers with ACA compliance and offer them a way to control healthcare spending. MyPlanSouce also helps relieve some of the HR administrative burden in benefits administration by giving employees a self-service platform with advanced decision support to educate them on their options, helping them make the best benefits choices for their needs. The MyPlanSource platform has had success with both insurance providers who want a better way of reaching end users in a changing business landscape, and brokers who want to offer their clients an advanced technology solution for their employee enrollment and benefits administration needs.