Highmark looked for markets where the company could offer employers opportunities to manage costs, Brown said, "giving the small-group employer another option to dropping their employees on the public exchange market."
Medium- to large-sized employers present opportunities for both Highmark and its group coverage clients, who can realize significant human resources cost savings. With the private exchange handling administrative functions that were often previously sited in multiple locations, "you're really consolidating a lot," Brown says. "They love the administration aspect of it."
Highmark executives also chose carefully when they picked Seattle, WA-based Array Health as the company's IT partner for private exchanges.
"We were looking for someone who had the same vision as Highmark," Brown says. "They are really customer-focused. After the sale, we have very deep touch-points with our consumers… They wanted to make sure everything after enrollment was nailed down. That's why we chose them."