A new private exchange is launching that will allow employees at companies with less than 50 lives (which are not required to provide health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act), to buy health insurance using pre-tax dollars.

Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC), the Chicago-based operator of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, launched a private exchange Oct. 7 that is specifically designed for small employer groups of one to 50 employees. It joins the company’s two other exchanges under the Blue Directions for Small Business label.

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