Five major US employers have signed on to offer their employees a range of medical, dental, life, disability, and voluntary benefit choices for 2014 through Mercer Marketplace, with additional employers in active discussion to move in this direction in 2014 and 2015.
The employers, which cannot be named publicly until their employees are informed during the upcoming annual enrollment process, represent a range of sizes and industries. Some will offer self-funded medical and dental plans on the exchange while others will offer fully insured plans. The industries represented are retail, transportation, media, food and beverage, and professional services; the employers range in size from 800 to 25,000 employees.
“We are thrilled to welcome these five employers as early adopters for offering benefits through our private exchange for 2014," said Julio A. Portalatin, Mercer’s President and CEO. “As their diversity illustrates, Mercer Marketplace is flexible and easily tailored to an employer’s size, needs, and financing preference. Mercer Marketplace can be scaled to employers with as few as 100 employees, with no upward limit. Medical and dental plans can be self-insured or fully insured, and while a defined contribution approach is an option it is not a requirement. Employees will enjoy greater empowerment with various choice options as well.”
With the Administration’s recently announced one-year delay of the health reform law’s employer mandate, employers continue to move toward compliance with the law’s requirements in 2014 and 2015. In addition to helping employers manage costs, simplify administration, and enhance member experience and coverage, Mercer Marketplace facilitates employers’ compliance with the health reform law’s many requirements.
“These employers view Mercer Marketplace as a way to enable their employees to cost effectively personalize coverage, streamline plan management, and help employees navigate the complexities of making benefit choices in a post-reform world,” said Eric Grossman, Mercer’s Exchange Business Leader. “Some are using Mercer Marketplace to facilitate a transition to a defined contribution approach to providing benefits. Others are using the exchange as a way to move toward standardizing benefits that currently vary among disparate employee groups. All are adopting our exchange now as the best way to meet their key benefit priorities.”
Since Mercer Marketplace was launched in January, it has been expanded to offer voluntary benefits to employees and dependents that are not eligible for company-sponsored medical benefits. This provides added flexibility to employers who are developing strategies for various parts of their workforce.
About Mercer Marketplace
Mercer Marketplace allows employers to continue offering competitive benefits to their workforce, a key attraction and retention tool, while actively managing their spending and administrative responsibilities. Employers have the flexibility to determine how much to contribute toward the cost of their benefits program and can select from a wide range of insured and self-funded products to offer to their workforce. The platform includes full benefits outsourcing and will provide employees with call center and online decision support during the enrollment process and beyond. More information about Mercer Marketplace is available from Mercer consultants and online at www.mercermarketplace.com.
Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. With 53,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $10 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management consulting. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerInsights.