Last year, as the clock ticked down to 2015, private exchanges experienced modest levels of adoption. By and large, the first significant cohort to embrace this approach were large employers with sophisticated benefits personnel and ample money at risk in “pay or play” analyses. They found private exchanges to be a viable strategy, and many chose this route rather than abandoning health insurance and sending their employees to public exchanges.
Yet private exchanges are still on the periphery of benefits solutions. Don’t for a second misconstrue the current level of adoption with long-term applicability, because they will become a central force in benefits strategies for a significant subset of employers. Surveys, prognosticators and news articles all agree that many employers expect to deploy them in the near future but are hesitant to immediately pull the trigger. Those of us offering exchange solutions celebrate the early adopters and continue to invest in product choice and solution functionality, while we wait for the inevitable tipping point.