By Kathryn Mayer
Digital Benefit Advisors — a division of Digital Insurance — jumped into the private exchange
game earlier this summer, and that decision is already paying off big-time, executives said Monday.
Since its launch in June, Digital’s exchange — which is in more than a dozen states — has lured more than 100 employers and 10,000 members, and secured participation with 30 carriers including Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, Coventry and numerous Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.
“Marketplace demand is outpacing our expectations,” Mike Sullivan, Digital’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “We have achieved remarkable traction and organic growth in a short period of time.”
The majority of companies that have signed onto the exchange are new customers, Sullivan added.
Digital executives said they’re also in “negotiations with dozens of carriers with a variety of effective dates.”
“It’s a fluid process, and new insurance companies are continuously coming on board,” said Bob Gaydos, national director of private marketplaces for DBA.
Gaydos said interest has been “phenomenal,” with employers being attracted to the defined contribution strategy allowing them to operate with a fixed budget.
More and more employee benefit agencies are considering developing and launching private exchanges. Consulting groups, such as Aon Hewitt, Mercer and Towers Watson
, have been the major players in the private exchange market.
Setting Digital’s exchange apart from others in the business, though, is its live customer support, Digital executives said.
Benefits counselors are available via telephone or online chats to answer questions and walk individual employees through the enrollment process.
“Another competitive plus is Digital’s sophisticated infrastructure and call center, which were already in place to operate the system and support individual/family decision-making,” the company statement read.
The exchange’s clientele also is unique. Instead of trying to snag big name and large employers like other private exchanges, Digital is targeting mid-sized and small businesses.
“Many didn’t realize participation in a private exchange was possible or weren’t aware it was available in their market,” Gaydos said.
Offerings include health, life, disability, accident, critical illness, long-term care, dental and vision insurance, pet insurance and telemedicine. Digital’s exchange is currently available in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com