Companies Test Private Exchanges, Other Ways To Cut Health Costs

Some companies are turning to private exchanges to cut costs while a team of three programmers use data to help people wade through their coverage choices.

The New York Times: Companies Test Plans To Cut Their Health Costs
As health care costs continue their steady climb, employers are looking for ways to slow the pace. A survey of large employers released on Thursday showed that companies were shifting more costs onto their employees but were also experimenting with concepts like private exchanges that allow companies like Walgreen to offer their workers more choices in health care plans (Abelson, 3/6).

The New York Times: More Than One Way To Buy A Plan
When the federal online marketplace for the Affordable Care Act stumbled out of the gate last fall, leaving would-be applicants unable to sign up for care or even to view their plans, three young programmers thought they might be able to help frustrated users. In October, they packaged reams of publicly-available data into a website, healthsherpa.com, that allowed users to immediately view exchange plans in their area. But the site was intended for research only; users still had to purchase them through the federal and state health exchanges or, in some cases, directly through insurers (Bidgood, 3/6). 

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