Whether participating in private exchanges or not, some say similar programs have been in place for decades, pointing to the government’s 50-year-old Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan as early example of what many employers are dealing with today.

“Private exchanges do not equate to the loss of employer-based plans,” said Paul Fronstin, director, health research & education program with the Employee Benefit Research Institute. And while uptake of private exchanges is expected to remain slow, but steady, he points to the looming Cadillac Tax as a possible catalyst for a future spike in employer participation with private exchanges.

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