It is becoming increasingly difficult for local municipalities to offer their employees’ high-quality health care coverage. Unlike private companies, municipalities are in the public sector, which means they have to ensure their employee benefits comply with union guidelines. And if a municipality doesn’t offer health insurance that meets the affordability standard for lower-income workers, heavy penalties will apply. Another thing that makes it tough for municipalities to offer the perfect health care plan is that they typically have a wide array of employees. From administrative managers to public service employees, the individual needs of employees vary drastically. Asking public sector employees to make sacrifices when it comes to their health care isn’t the answer. So what’s the answer? Private exchanges are a way for municipalities to control health care spending and provide greater value to their employees without resulting in a higher cost. Private exchanges are online health insurance marketplaces that allow employers to set a defined contribution toward medical plans. Employees can choose from a variety of offerings, including ancillary benefits. This allows employers to cover a broad group of people with varying level of health care needs without trying to find a one-size-fits-all plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan offers two private exchange options: GlidePath for companies with 51 or more employees and Coverage for Companies for companies with 50 or fewer employees. They both offer attractive benefit options at affordable costs and provides employee with meaningful support to help ease the transition process. Municipalities within Michigan are starting to adopt private exchanges and are cognizant of the many benefits. “GlidePath’s advisors were extremely patient with our members during open enrollment and helped ease the transition into a private exchange by answering their questions thoroughly and getting all members signed up in time,” says Beverly K. Kampmueller, human resource coordinator at Lenawee County Administrator’s Office. “Additionally, the multiple open enrollment meetings with employees and detailed informational packets helped make the process smooth and digestible for everyone”. Private exchanges help ensure that every public employee, regardless of unique household needs and salary, has access to affordable health care. For more information on private exchanges, read these other blogs:
- Private Exchanges Let Employees Decide What’s ‘Affordable’
- Private Exchanges for Health Benefits: A Popular Choice for Employers and Employees Alike
About the Author
Jason Hover is vice president of Private Exchange for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. He’s responsible for driving the company’s strategy and solutions in the private exchange market, which includes developing the company’s proprietary GlidePath℠ private health insurance exchanges. Hover also leads strategy development for the Blue Cross Commercial Business division. Hover joined Blue Cross in 2009 and previously served as director of Commercial Business Strategy and director of Strategy and Planning.