On the heels of news about Aon Hewitt’s estimated more than 1.2 million HIX enrollees exceeding its expectations for 2015, Bright Choices Exchange operator Liazon is crowing about its own expansion plans.
The private exchange will offer a suite of Cigna employee benefit products nationwide through Bright Choices and other Liazon-powered exchanges, as well as non-medical ancillary insurance from Assurant Employee Benefits in six states with others expected to follow. The Cigna collaboration offers a national solution for companies with 250 or more employees, according to one announcement a capability that also appealed to Assurant.
Cigna plans will include medical, dental, vision, life, accident and disability coverage and feature a variety of funding strategies, while Assurant’s suite will feature accident, cancer, critical illness, term life, long-term disability, PPO dental, short-term disability and vision.
“We share Liazon’s vision for helping consumers make well-informed decisions in providing for the health, well-being and security of themselves and their families,” Patty Fontneau, president of Cigna’s private exchange business, said in a statement. Cigna has more than 85 million customers worldwide.
Added Alan Cohen, Liazon’s co-founder and chief strategy officer: “A private exchange marketplace is only as good as the products it carries, and the addition of Cigna’s best-in-class offerings will enhance our store with cost effective, highly individualized solutions from a recognized leader in the insurance space.”
Bradley Peak, VP of product marketing at Assurant Employee Benefits, said the Bright Choices deal “makes good sense because of its nationwide reach, technical acuity and ability to translate the buying experience into one that is consumer-friendly and educational.”
Assurant Employee Benefits, which specializes in ancillary benefits and services, is the brand name for insurance products underwritten by Union Security Insurance Company and for prepaid dental products provided by an affiliated prepaid dental company.
Liazon, whose exchange has been recognized across the industry for its decision-support and education tools, was acquired in November 2013 by Towers Watson a leading HR and benefits consulting firm that runs its own private HIX called OneExchange.
The Bright Choices platform features an advanced cloud computing infrastructure and security protection described as ensuring continual access and safeguarding confidentiality of data transmission. Founded in 2007, Liazon works with national and regional insurance carriers, as well as a national network of brokers.
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