It’s going to be a busy open enrollment season for Mercer Marketplace. In 2014, its first year of operations, Mercer’s private benefits exchange provided access for 52 companies, with 220,000 eligible employees, retirees, and dependents. For 2015, those numbers have grown by about a factor of five: 247 companies have chosen Mercer Marketplace to provide access to more than 1,000,000 lives. Additional enrollments for 2015 will continue throughout 2014.
“The growth in people and companies attracted to our exchange platforms is a powerful demonstration of the broad applicability of Mercer Marketplace solutions,” said Julio A. Portalatin, our President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our clients and their employees are confirming that we offer the most flexible and complete private exchange in the market that meets the real needs of a wider spectrum of companies. Further evidence of our momentum is the acquisition of 40 new clients not previously served by Mercer’s health business in addition to our continued growth with existing clients.”
A 2014 analysis of purchasing behavior on Mercer Marketplace showed that, given the opportunity to choose from a range of benefit options, many consumers purchased lower-cost medical plans. That, combined with access to Mercer Marketplace network arrangements, care management and prescription drug programs, allows employers to achieve up to 15% medical plan cost savings. In addition, Mercer Marketplace drove an average savings of 10% on the cost of life and disability benefits. These savings are enjoyed by both employers and employees.
“These savings result from Mercer Marketplace’s purchasing power combined with consumer decisions to purchase coverage that is more appropriate to their personal needs,” said Sharon Cunninghis, Mercer Marketplace Leader. “The fact that employers were able to achieve significant cost savings while offering their employees the ability to personalize their benefits is exciting news. This satisfaction from both companies and individuals gives others confidence in the exchange experience and positions this as one of the standard benefits models of the future.”
In addition to the employer active and retiree clients, several companies have selected Mercer Marketplace as the platform for delivering voluntary benefits, with 330,000 employees (730,000 lives including dependents) eligible to select benefits through this program. Mercer also provides access to individual medical insurance coverage to an additional 750,000 individuals through our relationship with GetInsured. While enrollment in these offerings may initially be modest, using Mercer Marketplace for delivery of voluntary benefits and individual medical insurance provides an avenue for both employers and employees to begin to experience the advantages the exchange platform offers.