Consumers in the Driver’s Seat for Health Insurance Exchanges

The majority of survey respondents feel most employers will offer their benefits through an exchange by the end of 2015.

health IT and management

Consumer-focused shopping and enrollment is the most valuable capability for a successful private health insurance exchange, according to opinions of health care industry professionals revealed in a survey conducted by private health insurance exchange technology Array Health.

The results indicated continued growth for the private exchange market, as more than 75 percent of respondents believe most insurers will offer proprietary exchanges by the end of 2016.

In addition, there appears to be greater optimism about employers’ near-term adoption of defined contribution strategies than there was one year ago.

Compared to Array’s 2013 survey results, respondents to this year’s survey are more optimistic about the adoption of defined contribution within the next three years.

Survey respondents included representatives from health insurers, software or services companies, brokers, producers, state and federal government agencies and third-party administrators among others.

"We are very encouraged by this year’s survey results, which indicate continued momentum toward the broad-scale adoption of private exchanges," Jonathan Rickert, CEO of Array Health, said in a statement. "While the survey is only a snap shot, the responses are in line with analysts’ predictions and support projections that explosive growth in private exchanges will likely occur in the next two to three years. We are fortunate to experience firsthand the wave of innovation taking place in this new market."

The majority (57 percent) of survey respondents feel the majority of employers will offer their benefits through an exchange by the end of 2015.

The survey also found health insurers were more optimistic, with 63 percent predicting the majority of employers will move onto private exchanges by the end of 2015.

Three-quarters of respondents predicted the majority of health insurers will offer a private single-insurer exchange by the end of 2016 and 93 percent believe most health insurers will have their own single-insurer exchange by 2018.

Eighty percent of health insurer respondents said they believe most private exchanges will include core medical, dental and vision as well as ancillary products by January 2015.

Respondents also expect insurers will sell to all market segments through private single-insurer exchanges, with most interest focused on large groups, small groups and individuals.

Consumers are realizing the benefits of a whole new way to shop for health insurance, and insurers are expected to respond to this need, the report concluded.

The survey ran for one week in May 2014, according to the company, and the results of the report were compiled from 88 anonymous respondents.