North Carolina Chamber to Offer Private Exchange Through CieloStar
John A. Reynolds
CieloStar CEO and President
North Carolina Chamber
North Carolina Chamber to Launch
Private Health Insurance and Benefits Exchange
State Chamber of Commerce to Offer Access to a
One-Stop, Online Marketplace for Health Insurance
RALEIGH, N.C. – Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber, has announced that the nonpartisan business advocacy organization will offer a private health insurance and benefits exchange through CieloStar, a nationwide healthcare payment and benefit technology company formerly known as OutsourceOne. North Carolina companies will be able to offer employees access to a one-stop, online marketplace to shop for health insurance.
Health care is a top-of-mind issue for North Carolina businesses, cited as one of the key costs impacting profitability. Currently, there is a great amount of uncertainty around how the Affordable Care Act will impact companies and how the state is implementing changes outlined in the federal reform. As the ACA is coming to bear, many businesses are beginning to incur greater costs. However, they do not know what the health care costs are going to be in the next few years. This uncertainty is a large factor in growing the employment base.
For any private exchange to work there must be choices. The North Carolina Chamber and CieloStar are in discussions with a number of carriers. Similar to travel websites that allow consumers to shop for airfare, hotels and rental cars in one place, CieloChoice will offer a variety of insurance plans for North Carolina consumers to choose from, including health, dental, Medicare, vision and more. Coupled with competitive price comparisons, employees can create a plan based on their specific needs and budget.
“Due to the increased uncertainty in predicting costs, we believe that more employers will move to what’s called a defined contribution approach for health care,” said Jim Simpson, COO of the North Carolina Chamber. “Employers will set a defined contribution and each individual can go out and secure coverage for what they need most. This approach allows employers to budget for the defined contribution and a set increase each year, which brings an enormous amount of certainty to one of a company’s historically most uncertain processes. Additionally, a private exchange ensures that employees have control over the kinds of benefits they have.”
“Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, employers have been steadily migrating to defined contributions plans, rather than shifting more costs, assessing annual health care spending, and evaluating plan utilization,” said Dr. John Reynolds, CieloStar CEO. “The CieloChoice private exchange solution allows employees to manage their own benefit and health care plans and successfully navigate the transition from defined benefit to defined contribution healthcare and benefits.”
CieloStar has helped brokers, employers, employees, healthcare providers and affinity groups navigate the ever-changing world of benefits and healthcare payments for over 25 years and serves nearly 750,000 consumers and facilitates over $1.2 billion in annual healthcare payments. Now, fueled by the far-reaching impact and complexities of healthcare reform taking effect in 2013 and 2014, employers and employees increasingly find themselves in a ‘farmer’s market’ of benefits choices. CieloStar’s enabling technology helps employers and consumers make the best possible decisions by emphasizing transparency and simplicity. CieloStar’s comprehensive approach to benefits offers everything from back room technology for enrollment, integrated databases, consolidated billing and call centers to complete solutions for COBRA, CDHP, provider / payer / patient payment solutions, health insurance, and benefit exchanges. Visit www.cielostar.com for more information.
About the North Carolina Chamber:
The North Carolina Chamber is a nonpartisan business advocacy organization that works in the legislative, regulatory and political arenas to proactively drive positive change to ensure that North Carolina is a leading place in the world to do business. Strengthening the state’s ability to attract, retain and grow jobs is the Chamber’s highest priority. Central to that effort are four “Pillars of a Secure Future” for North Carolina which include Education and Talent Supply, Business Climate, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Infrastructure and Growth Leadership. For more information, visit www.ncchamber.net.