Private and public health care exchanges can bring tremendous value to the marketplace if they follow certain examples, said a speaker at the NAHU annual convention in Las Vegas Monday.

Regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on PPACA on Thursday, exchanges will be coming, said Dan Garlitz, executive director of Chicago-based bswift Exchange Solutions, a provider of exchanges.

“The concept of health insurance exchanges is going to be part of the future, no matter what, most of you recognize that,” he said, to a packed room of insurance advisers at The Wynn.

He points to four exchanges — two public, two private — currently in existence as examples of the do's and dont's. The public exchanges include ones in Utah and Massachusetts, while the private includes HealthPass New York and one run by The Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

Among the key features that make exchanges work is having broad plan selection but, Garlitz says, most critical is having multiple carriers on them so the consumer has choice. “It’s particularly important,” he added, “not only [for] customer service but provides access to providers they want.”

Another key feature is the ability to administer and keep track of money. “It’s very difficult to sell health insurance solutions if [you are] trying to get the employer to deal with multiple bills from multiple insurers.”

With all these factors, he acknowledges that while it is easy to build the infrastructure for an exchange, which is similar to a storefront; it is difficult to populate that with inventory the consumer wants.

The editorial staff of Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser has assembled experts to provide insight on the fate of the mandate for individuals to purchase health coverage, and the finding on the constitutionality of ACA as a whole on Thursday, June 28. Sign up for the webinar by clicking here

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