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View More Press Releases by Towers Watson

Press release:

Enrollment in Health Benefits Through Towers Watson’s Exchange Solutions Expected to Reach About 1.2 Million in 2015

Issued by: Towers Watson

Date: Mar. 19, 2015

1,500 employers are signed on to deliver health benefits to their employees, retirees and dependents in 2015

ARLINGTON, VA, March 19, 2015 — Global professional services company Towers Watson (NASDAQ: TW) announced today that it expects about 1.2 million employees, retirees and their eligible family members from over 1,500 employers to choose their health care and other insurance coverage through Towers Watson’s exchange solutions in 2015. This is up from over 800,000 individuals at the end of 2014, representing a 50% increase in the number of people who could evaluate, select and enroll in their benefits through Towers Watson’s private exchange solutions.

Towers Watson’s exchange solutions support all workforce populations, including full- and part-time employees, and pre-Medicare and Medicare-eligible retirees. Employees and retirees have used Towers Watson’s OneExchange to find health benefits and other insurance coverage for 10 years — the longest operating history in the private exchange industry.

Total spending on full-time active employee health care by employers participating in OneExchange is projected to grow by just 1.8% from 2014 to 2015 — a rate that is very close to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and much lower than historical and projected health benefit cost increases. Because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA’s) excise tax — also known as the Cadillac tax — is linked to CPI, keeping health cost increases within its range is crucial for avoiding the excise tax, not only in 2018 but also beyond.

Among the new employers adopting OneExchange for full-time active employees for 2015 are Envision Healthcare and Time Inc. towerswatson.com

"Envision Healthcare is dedicated to Pioneering the Delivery of Care™, and that includes health care options for our employees," said Don King, vice president of benefits and compensation. "Towers Watson has developed a program that allows our employees more provider, health plan and price options than previously available, which is almost unheard of in today’s health care marketplace. Expanding insurance carrier options spurs competition, which improves long-term cost-mitigation opportunities."

Time Inc. also recently announced it began using OneExchange to deliver medical, prescription drug, dental and vision benefits to its full-time active employees and their dependents in 2015.

Convergys Corporation was one of the first companies to adopt OneExchange for full-time active employees and, in its second year, has seen continued health benefit cost savings.

"We’re pleased that OneExchange has helped us manage escalating costs associated with health care benefits for our company and our employees," said Dennis Hicks, vice president, compensation and benefits for Convergys. "At the same time, we are pleased with how our employees have responded to the change. Post-enrollment data show us that our people chose their insurance options with an eye toward value. In fact, two-thirds of them enrolled in the best-in-market health insurers by price, and over 90% felt the information they received from OneExchange helped them make informed choices."

"Private exchanges represent an opportunity for employers to manage the high cost of delivering health care and other benefits. Our model lets employers leverage plans from several top carriers in each area across the nation and gives employees greatly expanded plan choice — a competitive environment that is difficult for any employer to create on its own," said Jim Foreman, managing director of Exchange Solutions for Towers Watson. "OneExchange is also compelling for employers seeking ways to avoid the PPACA’s excise tax, which goes into effect in 2018.

"Convergys, Envision Healthcare and Time Inc. are leading their industries in adopting innovative, new ways of thinking about how to better deliver quality, cost-effective health benefits that are sustainable for the long term," added Foreman.

About Towers Watson Towers

Watson (NASDAQ: TW) is a leading global professional services company that helps organizations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management. With 15,000 associates around the world, the company offers consulting, technology and solutions in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management. Learn more at towerswatson.com.

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