Private health insurance exchanges are on a fast track to enrollment numbers reaching 30 million by 2017, meaning you can expect changes to employee benefits playbooks nationwide. Flexible, personalized and convenient private exchanges sound great on paper, but many people lack practical knowledge of how they work, or worse, they’re skeptical. Accenture research revealed that nearly 46 percent of survey respondents think their employers are just trying to cut costs through private exchanges.

To win the hearts and minds of consumers—and to survive—private health insurance exchanges need to get four things right:

  • Engage the consumer early. Clarify the choices, communicate through various channels and make it easy for people to get answers to burning questions.
  • Support smarter decisions. People want to make wise choices, so give them the tools to do so. According to an Accenture survey, 87 percent of consumers want “tools to help project my expenses and select coverage levels.”
  • Untangle the Web experience. Consumers want to shop online, so deliver an online experience that is intuitive, user-friendly and offers a clear path to purchase.
  • Mirror the online experience on the phone. Your people must be as good as your portal. Today’s consumer demands high-quality phone support. Our survey showed that 94 percent of consumers feel that having a live person available to answer questions or resolve issues is an important customer service feature.

For more on the survival of private health insurance exchanges, download: Private Health Insurance Exchange Survival Guide: Making the Shift from Mass Market to Individual Engagement.

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