Analysis: Private insurance exchanges on the rise

Private exchanges appeal to employers because they operate on the basis of a defined contribution, allowing firms to better plan for future insurance costs. 

Accenture cited surveys by benefits consultants Mercer and Aon Hewitt indicating that one quarter of employers are considering switching to a private exchange within five years. 

But the firm cautioned that very few consumers understand the new model, which would "shift considerable financial responsibility to employees." 

"This creates tremendous opportunity for carriers, brokers and employers to take credit for enhanced experience, yet also creates equally tremendous risk as dissatisfied consumers will blame plan sponsors," the analysis stated.