Industry analysts praise one-stop shopping tools as a positive reason why many employers are moving to private exchanges. At Xerox’s Buck Consultants, 100% of employees enrolling through the company’s exchange engaged with its technology — and made an average of 11.5 return visits, says Sherri Brockhorst, leader of the RightOpt exchange at Buck. Consumers interacted in the way Buck hoped they would, she says, including reviewing health and incentive-triggering actions they should take. EBA spoke with Brockhorst about Buck’s long-term plans for the exchange. 

1) What is the structure of your exchange? What makes it different?

We took a non-conventional approach when structuring RightOpt, since we wanted to make sure we achieved both short-term financial gains, as well as long-term sustainability. We certainly agree and somewhat align with our competitors that an effective shopping experience is important to help members choose the right plan at time of enrollment, but health care consumption goes way beyond the open enrollment period. So we extend our platform to support members 24/7/365 with personalized resources to help them use the plan more effectively during the year and work to improve their health. Our entire model is centered around this concept of choose, use and improve. 

2) How do you recruit clients?

We certainly leverage media opportunities, like this one, to help educate employers on how RightOpt is a more thoughtful solution to the challenges employers face in balancing the cost of benefits with employee retention and recruitment. But, we also have invested a lot of time in helping educate the third party advisers that support employers in determining if an exchange is right for them, and if so, which model. Every exchange brings unique assets to the table, and I think it’s helpful for employers to have a good sense of those differences before starting a formal bid process. And of course, we work across the Xerox enterprise to help our current clients understand this additional service Xerox can provide to its workforce.

Also see: Demystifying the private exchange solution
3
) What is your relationship with brokers?

I know the market is still confused sometimes by the relationship between Buck Consultants and Xerox.  But Buck Consultants is fully integrated into the Xerox Services family which supports every corner of the health care ecosystem including government, payers, providers and employers. Our private exchange takes the best of the brokerage and consulting knowledge of Buck, combined with the technology and innovation of Xerox, to bring a more cost effective benefit delivery platform to employers.  At this time, we do not allow brokers outside of the Xerox family to leverage our exchange technology.
4
) How did 2015 open enrollment compare to 2014?

We had another very successful enrollment period. We continue to be excited about the way in which members are engaging with our exchange, and demonstrating that the focus post-enrollment on the use and improve areas are important to them, too. Last year, we saw 100% of members engage with our technology with an average of 11.5 return visits per user. They are going where we had hoped — looking at personalized action lists that highlight health and incentive actions they should take, health screening results and history, account balances and more. The utilization alone shows that employees and their spouses were looking for this type of one-stop shopping for both enrollment and beyond.
Also see: Why one carrier thinks brokers are diluting the private exchange message
5
) Where do you see private HIX fitting in the health care game moving forward?

For us, this is not a short-term move until employers fully exit to individual insured marketplaces. We truly believe that the health of a business does depend upon the health of its workforce and group benefits are a key component of that. Our technology is only getting stronger, and our ability to interact with members real-time, in their preferred format, is helping families become more physically and financially fit.

Editor’s note: This story is part of an continuing series of one-on-one interviews with private exchange leaders and top decision-makers across the U.S. Know of an exchange expert who should be profiled? Email Brian.Kalish@sourcemedia.com.

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