The Private Benefit Exchange Index ticked up last month, but the feeling among operators is that the pace of enrollment will pick up soon as employers put their 2016 benefit plans in place. Also bolstering the belief of increased exchange activity was the entrance into the market by ADP. The company launched last month a private benefits exchange offering that is targeted at employers with more than 1,000 lives.

Currently, one in five employers are on an exchange, in the process of moving employees to one or considering the option, according to the most recent SourceMedia Research findings, with quality of service, cost savings and employee communication services among the driving factors.

Since the June posting of the Private Benefit Exchange Index, the eight exchange operators participating in the PBE Index’s data collection effort report that more than 335 employers have moved to an online benefits marketplace. This, in turn, has led to an increase of 63,000 employees and 88,000 more lives now being covered by insurance plans sold through those exchanges.

Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser’s Private Benefit Exchange Index tracks the growth of the online benefit marketplaces.

To compile the PBE Index, EBA and EBN collect data from eight leading exchange operators on the number of employers using each platform, the number of employees enrolled in benefits through each platform and the number of lives covered by the policies sold through each platform.  Every month, the editors aggregate and update the operators’ numbers.

The eight exchanges selected by the editors to participate in the PBE Index are a representative cross-section of the operator market and include benefitsCONNECT, bswift, Hanna, Lockton, Medica, Simple Insurance, Softheon and Solstice. The information provided by these brokers, insurers and technology-platform companies is self-reported and rounded.

The PBE Index is complemented by a series of SourceMedia Research reports on the benefit marketplaces, a directory of exchange players, a dedicated web channel and a weekly newsletter featuring the latest benefit exchange news, analysis and insights.

The PBE Index is the first attempt to regularly track the growth of private exchanges and the editors expect the numbers to generate a fair amount of discussion. Feedback is welcome.

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