According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation in the United States was 0.2 percent for the 12 months ended July 31, 2015 – pretty close to a historical low. According to a recent survey, however, these costs should grow by 4 percent in 2015.

This challenge is compounded for companies with multiple regional or national locations, which must implement health care strategies that work for employees no matter where they live.

Fragmented needs

If one health insurance company had the best provider networks and pricing in every location, the problem would be solved. But there is analysis indicating that no single carrier has the best network in more than half of the regions across the U.S.

“As benefit costs increase, employers seeking ways to maintain a competitive advantage in the war for talent without breaking the bank could turn to private exchanges in greater numbers.”

This puts the onus on employers to select and manage carriers and provider networks in many geographically dispersed markets. A costly and time-consuming endeavor, it’s also fraught with compliance and administrative complexities.

Keeping health key

Health benefits are integral to the employee value proposition, so companies must navigate changes to preserve this prized benefit. Some of the nation’s most recognized names, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Time Inc., have adopted private exchanges to deliver health benefits. Read the entire story