Contact: Jennifer Jones, PHIX Research Analyst
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Health Benefits Firm Adds Private Insurance Health Exchange Evaluation and Benchmark Capability
NEWPORT, R. I. – November 3, 2014 – Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, interest in private healthcare insurance exchanges (PHIX) has exploded, and so have their numbers. Today there are at least 170 private exchanges in the United States, running on at least eight distinct software platforms. Offering the most basic individual healthcare plans to more complex employee group plans, each private exchange and marketplace is different, leaving many employers unaware of the variety of solutions available to them.
KTP Advisors™, a specialty advisory firm on retiree health benefits plans, private exchanges, and pharmacy benefit management for active employees, believes it has a solution to that problem. The Newport, RI-based firm has launched the first unbiased and completely independent evaluation and comparative data service of private healthcare exchanges and marketplaces for employers, trade associations, and insurance brokers who don’t have the time to shop through different private exchange solutions. The company, which has no exchange nor is it affiliated with one, has created a set of criteria, along with site visits, to evaluate each exchange. The firm has assembled nearly 150 key performance standards on financial information, product offerings, technology and data security, consumer support and customer service and more, against which exchanges will be benchmarked and from which organizations can choose to find the best fit for their employees and retirees and benefit strategy. KTP can run competitive, national Request for Proposals (RFPs) and negotiate contract terms as well for organizations seeking to partner with a private exchange.
In addition to basic operational, product and pricing factors, there are even more complex considerations that KTP assesses before employers sign onto an exchange, said Mike Martocci, KTP’s private healthcare exchange practice leader. “The back-end technology, which powers the different exchanges, can be incredibly complex. The software platform is a part that an employer and employees never see, yet exchange owners as well as corporate human resource departments and insurance brokers and carriers will have to deal with every day.“
Another standard that demands close scrutiny is who owns the exchange and how the exchange is compensated. “Many large, traditional human resource consulting firms have launched their own private exchanges, which are generating significant commissions for the advisors as well as administrative fees,” explained Mark Whitcher, KTP’s president and CEO. “Evaluating private exchanges and all of the options in a brand new market is extremely difficult and it’s essential to know the right questions to ask. There are complex and hidden revenue sources in the exchange market, which make an objective appraisal of the possible solutions difficult, if not impossible, when one of those exchanges under consideration is your own. There are legal and fiduciary concerns for employers as well.”