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Some Employers Already Sending Workers To Exchanges to Buy Health Insurance

Fed up with the unpredictable cost of health insurance for his small business, Mike Sarafolean last year made a dramatic change: Instead of picking a plan to offer workers, he now sends them to a “private exchange” or marketplace where they compare and choose their own insurance. And the amount his company pays toward coverage is capped.

Mike Sarafolean, CEO of Orion Corporation of Minnesota, last year joined a growing number of employers embracing a dramatic change in the way they offer health benefits (Photo by Andy King).

The move puts his St. Paul, Minn.-based company on the leading edge of a nascent trend that could shape how more employers offer and pay for their health benefits in the coming years. It is part of an ongoing evolution in job-based health benefits that is gradually shifting cost and responsibility to workers.

The private exchanges, mainly run by former insurance executives and employee benefit consulting firms, operate in more than 20 states.Continue reading…

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