Seventy-two percent of U.S. employers see choice as a key value of private exchanges

ARLINGTON, Va., May 24, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nearly three-fourths (72%) of U.S. employers believe that a key value of private health insurance exchanges is offering employees more choice, according to a survey of U.S. employers conducted by Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW). Post-enrollment surveys of employees for the plan year 2016 using private exchanges to select employer-sponsored health plans show that employees like to choose for themselves and are happy with the choices they've made.

Specific results from the employee surveys include:

  • 95% like choosing their own benefits.
  • 90% were satisfied with their benefit choices one year later.
  • Nine of 10 understand their benefits as well or better than last year.
  • 83% are more aware of the costs of medical care.
  • 83% are more engaged in their health care decisions.

“A growing number of employers are interested in offering employees a more satisfying benefit experience through expanded choice, a more consumer-like shopping experience and the chance to build personalized benefit portfolios that better meet their unique needs,” said Sherri Bockhorst, managing director, Group Exchange, Willis Towers Watson. “When choice is backed by advanced decision support and recommendations, exchanges help employees navigate complex options and make good decisions based on their needs. As a result, employees better understand their benefits and are able to derive more value from them.”

The Willis Towers Watson 2016 Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey of 467 U.S. employers also found that one in six employers are considering or have already adopted a private exchange for their full-time employees and their families.

“Private exchanges for active employees are rapidly evolving,” said Craig Jannino, senior consultant, Health and Benefits, Willis Towers Watson. “At first, employers were curious to understand what they were all about. But as more data have become available about how an exchange can modernize benefits to meet the needs of a more diverse workforce, create a more attractive benefit experience and improve outcomes for employees, interest has been growing in this more employee-centric model.”

About the surveys

The Willis Towers Watson 2016 Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey was fielded in January and February 2016 to determine how U.S. employers use and deliver voluntary benefits and services programs. The 467 employers that responded represent 12.1 million employees and are midsize to large companies across a variety of industries. Willis Towers Watson post-enrollment employee surveys are conducted periodically with employers and employees who have adopted the OneExchange group exchange.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential. Learn more at

Media contact Rob Wyse: +1 212 920 1470

Source:Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company