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Aon Hewitt private health insurance exchanges attract more employers

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The number of employers participating in two Aon Hewitt private health insurance exchanges is continuing to increase.

This year, 55 employers with more than 1 million employees and dependents are participating in the Aon Active Health Exchange, Aon Hewitt said Tuesday. That compares with 33 employers with 850,000 employees and dependents who offered coverage through the exchange in 2015.

In addition, 75 employers with 400,000 covered lives are participating in an Aon Hewitt exchange for Medicare-eligible retirees this year, up from 50 employers and 350,000 covered lives in 2015.

“Our exchange solutions are delivering on their promise of greater choice and competition through a retail marketplace that allows consumers to better match their true health needs and coverage, while helping the organization meet business objectives,” said Mike Christie, senior vice president and head of exchange market strategy at Aon Hewitt in Chicago.

The exchange model typically deploys a defined contribution approach in which employers provide a fixed contribution and employees pay more or less for their share of the total premium depending on the level of coverage they choose. Through that approach, an employer can cap what it will pay for health plan coverage for its employees.

At the same time, exchanges typically offer employees more health plan choices than their employers previously provided.