Three leading private exchange players have been added to the Private Benefit Exchange Index: Connecture, Frenkel Benefits and Marcum.

But that’s not the only change. The layout of the PBE Index has been redesigned. The index’s three components — the number of employers using each platform, the number of employees enrolled in benefits through the exchanges and the number of lives covered by the policies sold through the marketplaces — which have been represented in three bar charts, are now combined on one graphic for better readability.

Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser launched the PBE Index in July 2015 and the editors felt the market indicator was in need of a refresh, especially given the movement of the past 12 months:

• New players have entered the field. Financial services firm Fidelity, for instance, in January launched an online marketplace called Fidelity Health Marketplace. And last month Fidelity expanded the operation of Fidelity Health Marketplace into California. In May, benefits technology firm Namely, in partnership with Cigna, also launched an exchange.

• Employers have continued to move to the exchanges. Starbucks in July joined Darden Restaurants, Sears, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Walgreen and others transitioning benefits distribution to an e-market.

• And the PBE Index has kept on growing. The index began with 15,500 employers signed on with one of the operators, 1.46 million employees using an online market to enroll in benefits and 2.82 million people covered by plans sold through one of the exchanges.

Today, with Connecture, Frenkel Benefits and Marcum, the index has climbed to 37,800 employers, 2.81 million employees and 5.7 million lives. The addition of Connecture, Frenkel and Marcum, which have all been operating online exchanges for years, should make the index an even more powerful tool for gauging the success of the market.

For more information on the PBE Index, to access a directory of private benefit exchange operators and to see the latest PBE news, click here.

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