While many in the benefits industry think private exchanges and consumer-driven health care are the future, an employer expert questioned whether there should be a rush on the trend. Speaking Monday at the Workplace Benefits Renaissance in Atlantic City, N.J., John Sarno of the Employers Association of New Jersey called the faith that employers are putting in their employees with these marketplaces just a “theory.”

He expanded: “The private exchange is based on a theory that the employee is an independent actor with adequate information and who is empowered to be an intelligent consumer. And so the private exchange theory … is a bunch of huge groups who self-insure and hire an administrator to do the claims and manage the network and then they give the employees money to go on to the exchange and manage their care.”

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