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Mercer announces health insurers to join exchange

Mercer announces health insurers to join exchange

Several major health insurers that include Aetna Inc., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna Corp., Florida Blue Cross and Shield, Humana Inc., HealthNet Inc. and UnitedHealthcare Inc. will provide coverage in a private health insurance exchange that Mercer L.L.C. is launching.

Through the Mercer Marketplace, employers can decide how much they want to contribute toward health insurance, with employees using the premium contributions to purchase coverage through the exchange.

For example, an employer could design its program so that if the exchange plan selected by an employee costs less than the employer's premium contribution, the difference could be transferred to a flexible spending account or health savings account to pay for uncovered expenses, such as those that fall under a plan deductible.

“These national benefit providers are leading the way in allowing large and small employers alike to help their employees make the critical personal and financial decisions about what types of insurance will best meet their needs,” David Rahill, Mercer's president of health and benefits in New York, said Monday in a statement.

The Mercer exchange, which the benefit consultant announced earlier this year, will be available for open enrollment this fall. The first policies will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

Additional health insurers are expected to join the Mercer exchange.