HDH Group, a Pittsburgh-based private insurance brokerage firm that has a presence in Central Pennsylvania, today announced plans to launch a private health insurance marketplace for companies up to 5,000 employees later this year.
According to a news release, the marketplace will provide employers the flexibility to select carriers and products of their choice; the ability to offer a defined-benefit or a defined-contribution plan; the advantage of extending negotiated rates for group insurance and individual plan options; and robust reporting and Web-based enrollment and administrative functionality. In addition to health insurance, it will include dental, vision, life, disability, voluntary and other ancillary benefit product choices for groups and individuals.
The inclusion of individual plan options is of critical importance for employers in the 2-24 employee range, HDH says, as insurance companies and industry analysts project significant rate increases — estimated to be in the high double digits depending upon region and demographic — in the small group and individual markets come Jan. 1, 2014.
“It was important for us to develop a multi-dimensional offering that will support a variety of health insurance, financing, wellness and engagement strategies so it not only delivers solutions that meet the needs of clients and their employees today, but can adapt and support changing needs and goals over time,” says Marshall Wunderlich, HDH Group’s chief operating officer.
Health insurers and brokers have recently begun offering a variety of private exchanges, some offering coverage choices from a single carrier and others, like HDH’s, offering choices among carriers. According to a Deft Research study conducted in 2011 among U.S. business managers, approximately 13 percent of all businesses that offer health insurance currently used defined contribution to fund it. That number is slated to grow to 27 percent by 2014.