Horizon creates private exchange for large employers

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Jersey has established its own private online marketplace that will sell defined contribution health plans and operate alongside the federally-run online marketplace that will be available in the state this October.

The exchange, called Horizon Select, will be open for commercial group employers in New Jersey beginning in July. "We're offering employers the ability to manage healthcare costs over the long term and to offer employees a personalized experience to choose a health plan that is right for them," Christopher Lepre, Horizon's senior vice president for market business units, said this week in an announcement.

With the new exchange, companies selling Horizon health plans will provide a certain amount of money to their employees so they can buy a health plan available on the Horizon Select exchange, reported the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Because Horizon Select is only available to companies with at least 50 workers, it won't compete directly with the state's public exchange, which will be created and operated by the federal government. "These are employer-backed exchanges, driven by the employer," Lepre told NJ Biz, adding that employers will choose what type of plans to offer their employees.

To learn more:
- here's the Horizon announcement
- read the NJ Biz article
- see the Philadelphia Business Journal article