When the public exchange went live last fall, companies anticipated their employees would check it out to see if it offered a better deal than their employer-sponsored plan. A new HHS report, discussed in this article, provides a first look at data on how much enrollees wound up paying for federal exchange coverage in 2014. About 80% qualified for subsidized coverage and are now paying, on average, $82 a month for individual medical coverage. That's just about what employees pay for coverage in an employer-sponsored high-deductible plan with a health savings account -- $76 a month on average, according to Mercer's annual survey of almost 3,000 employers -- and the most popular plans in the federal marketplace are similar in value to these types of plans. It is also interesting to note that one of the "affordable contribution" safe harbors for employers is 9.5% of the Federal Poverty Level, which works out to just over $90/month in 2014. That's in the ball park of both the average cost of subsidized coverage in the public exchange and the average contribution charged by employers for a comparable plan. (I'm sure it was all carefully planned to work out that way!) Employees who were curious enough to visit the public exchange -- and who wouldn't be eligible for a subsidy -- likely came away with a better sense of what a good deal their employer-sponsored coverage really is.