As they explore viable methods to structure their Web-based employee benefits programs, insurance carriers have identified proprietary programs, outsourcing the process and even launching Web sites spun off from the corporate name, such as eWausau.com.Creating an independent Internet company designed to market, distribute and administrate employee benefits products is yet another piece in the overall equation. This option came under scrutiny in June when Hewitt Associates, a 60-year-old employee benefits management consulting firm based in Lincolnshire, Ill., launched a Web-based company called Sageo.

Sageo is designed to assist corporations and their employees select health insurance and other benefit products chosen from a wide variety of carrier plans. Scheduled to launch in July, Sageo has recruited six unidentified Fortune 500 companies and 600 U.S.-based health networks to pilot the program, linking their group plans through Sageo.

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