4 evolving trends in insurers' use of private exchanges

While health insurers continue to benefit from the use of private exchanges, the ways in which they derive value has evolved, according to this year’s Array Health Check Survey.

As in years past, respondents to the survey said they continue to reap business benefits from implementing private exchange solutions. Compared to the 2015 survey, more respondents indicated that market share, revenue and margins were positively affected by implementing a private exchange--fewer, however, indicated that it had a positive effect on administrative costs.

As in years past, respondents also agree that providing a quality customer service experience is the most important function of a successful exchange, the survey notes.

There were some trends in this year’s survey, though, that stood out from years past. Here’s a sampling:

  • Nearly 80 percent of respondents indicated that it was important that the private exchange platform support all lines of business, such as individual, group, retiree and Medicare.
  • Many agreed that it is important to offer a broad array of ancillary products through private exchanges, yet only 14 percent said the technical integration of those products would be easy.
  • Almost 1 in 5 respondents said their organizations are not ready to support back-end ecommerce capabilities such as processing payments and generating consolidated bills.
  • Health insurers are placing greater value on analyzing data generated by their private exchanges, a finding that the survey says is consistent with the industry’s broadening recognition of data as a prerequisite for successful ecommerce.

Overall, Array Health concludes, the survey “confirms an evolution of private exchanges in the market toward more robust and capable health insurance ecommerce platforms.”

Private exchanges may also boost payer-provider collaboration, FierceHealthPayer as reported, yet some have argued that the trend could result in health insurers spending less on population health management and wellness strategies they often offer to employer groups

- here’s the survey results