Walgreenslistens moving its employees to the private health care

Walgreen Co. will transfer 120,000 employees to a private health insurance market to be insured directly by carriers, the company said Wednesday.

The pharmacy chain will join 17 other Aon Hewitt Health Exchange employers to offer employees fixed dollar amounts to buy their own plans on those exchanges.

The final cost of the employee depends on the plan chosen, but generally has more options than traditional arrangements. Private exchanges mimic the coverage required by the Accessible Aid Law. Registration for the public exchange begins on October 1.

“What happens to employer contributions over time? Did they put everything in the past? These are unanswered but possible negative questions,” said Paul Fronstin, a senior research associate at the Employee Bond Research Institute. The benefits to Walgreen and other employers are currently unknown because their cost savings are unclear.

Of the 180,000 Walgreen employees entitled to health insurance, 120,000 have opted for insurance coverage for themselves and 40,000 family members. Another 60,000 employees, many of whom work part-time, were not covered by health insurance.

Retailers Sears Holding Corp and Darden Restaurants Inc. are other participants in the program, said Aon Hewitt. These additions have increased the number of Walgreenslistens registrations from 100,000 last year to 330,000, and Aon Hewitt estimates that the number of registrations will increase next year. 600,000 will increase. five times with 2012.

According to Accenture Research, nearly 20% of employees nationwide were able to purchase private health insurance in 2017. A recent report by the National Health Business Group said 30% of top employers plan to transfer their 2015 active employees to 2015.

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Mercer, a partner of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc and Towers Watson & Co. Mercer announced this summer that five major private employers were registered, but did not name them. Towers Watson is about to exchange. Small businesses like Buck Consultants, Willis North America Inc, and regional players are also starting to share.

There are also separate exchanges for pensioners only. IBM, Time Warner, and General Electric Co. recently announced that they are transferring retirees to scholarships for those who are not yet eligible for Medicare and other grants for those who are not.

Aon Hewitt’s five options in the private trade plan have names for the entire industry: bronze, bronze plus, silver, gold, and platinum, and the cost depends on the amount of coverage, says Ken Sperling, head of the national strategy. Hewitt Health Service.

Bronze and silver plans generally have a high individual deductible, $ 1,250 or more, which means they only go into effect if a participant’s cost exceeds the deductible. Gold and platinum plans have lower deductibles and more coverage.

Health premiums for these plans increased by approximately 5% last year, according to the industry average recently calculated by the National Business Group on Health.

For some Walgreenslistens employees, the exchange may offer more options. In the past three years, qualified Walgreen employees have chosen between two plans with a high deductible for health insurance. Depending on the region, these plans were administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield or United Healthcare.

Walgreen’s offer last year coincided with the silver plan of the Aon Stock Exchange. Therefore, there are two cheaper and two more expensive options.