The Private Benefit Exchange Index inched up, showing an increase for the seventh straight month.

While the Index’s number rose only modestly, there was still a lot of buzz around the online marketplaces. Some operators are expecting to report spikes in the coming months and the list of private exchanges grew. The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire launched in December a benefits marketplace for businesses in the state, with a focuses on companies with fewer than 50 employees.

Since the Private Benefit Exchange Index was launched, the eight operators participating in the PBE Index’s data collection effort report that more than 1,400 employers have moved workers to their exchanges. This, in turn, has led to an increase of more than 160,400 employees and 341,900 lives now being covered by benefit plans sold through the sites.

All the news on this year’s growth comes after impressive gains made during last year’s open enrollments, which Accenture earlier this year said doubled from 2014 to 2015.

Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser’s Private Benefit Exchange Index has been tracking the month-over-month growth in the online benefit marketplaces since June.  EBA and EBN collect data from eight leading exchange operators on the number of employers using each platform, the number of employees enrolled in benefits through each platform and the number of lives covered by the policies sold through each platform.  Every month, the editors aggregate and update the operators’ numbers.

The eight exchanges selected by the editors to participate in the PBE Index are a representative cross-section of the operator market and include benefitsCONNECT, bswift, Hanna, Lockton, Medica, Simple Insurance, Softheon and Solstice. The information provided by these brokers, insurers and technology-platform companies is self-reported and rounded.

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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