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Blue KC Builds Private Exchange

The insurer partnered with Benefitfocus on a retail platform for exchange-based distribution.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC, Kansas City, Mo.) has built a personalized private insurance exchange for its large group clients with help from Charlston, S.C.-based Benefitfocus. The exchange will open early next year.

Benefitfocus supplied a retail platform that supports defined contribution as well as a number of different health plan options, allowing employer groups and their employees to shop for benefits in a marketplace setting.

"Launching this private exchange is key in our goal to provide employers with a better way to manage employee benefits and adapt to the changing healthcare market," explains Danette Wilson, Blue KC Group Executive External Operations and Chief Marketing Executive, in a statement. "Employers are looking for defined contribution support and consumer-centric solutions that are both cost-effective and user-friendly."

The platform's shopping workflow integrates with Blue KC's existing online enrollment and billing solutions, which are also provided by Benefitfocus. Employers are able to enforce business rules, creating a pre-filtered, micro marketplace that allows employees to only see the plans for which they are eligible, according to a statement. A personal shopping cart displays employer allocated funds and tracks the employee's out-of-pocket costs while employees shop for coverage.

The exchange is accessible on any web-enabled device and also features decision support tools, questionnaires, informative videos, animation, integrated claims information and ability to personalize expected plan usage and estimate costs.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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