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Given a choice, most employees pick least costly health plan

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 12, 2013

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The majority of workers select less-expensive health plans when choosing on private exchanges, according to a study released in July.

Liazon Corp., a private exchange for businesses, looked at the buying habits of 2,500 New York and New Jersey employees who use Liazon's Bright Choices Exchange. For instance, 69% of employees in New York City and 77% in New Jersey took the lower cost plans, the study said (link).

The study also looked at ancillary and supplemental benefits products. Seventy-two percent of all surveyed employees bought dental insurance, making it the most popular ancillary benefit. Seventy-one percent bought life insurance, while 45% purchased vision coverage.

“Detractors of the private exchange model argue that expanded choice is confusing to employees,” said study co-author Chris Condeluci, a Washington attorney with the law firm Venable LLP. “However, data indicate that when employees are offered assistance through a decision-support system coupled with education tools, employees are choosing a health insurance package that best fits their needs.”

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