NEW YORK, June 5, 2014 — Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW), a leading global professional services company, announced today that 50 major U.S. employers that previously transitioned retirees to the company’s OneExchange solution for Medicare-eligible retirees are now making the exchange available to new groups of retirees, becoming repeat customers. While many employers transition all of their Medicare-eligible retirees at the same time, some transition them in waves.
Reasons for a phased approach include differing timelines for union contract negotiations, the desire to test-drive an exchange with a portion of a population and the opportunity to streamline benefits administration by providing consistent benefits to retirees of newly acquired companies, if appropriate.
In the case of Eastman Chemical Company of Kingsport, Tennessee, after completing its initial transition of retirees to Towers Watson’s private Medicare exchange in 2009, Eastman acquired several companies and assumed benefits administration responsibilities for those retirees.
“Where appropriate, we have found opportunities to transition acquired retirees from a more traditional benefit offering (company-sponsored, limited plan choices) to the OneExchange model, which includes more plan choices and typically more buying power than traditional company-sponsored coverage,” said Phil Belcher, U.S. Health & Welfare Plans Manager for Eastman Chemical. “Our retirees also get personalized help choosing plans that meet their health needs, while also allowing them to continue using the same doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. Post-enrollment, OneExchange makes sure that retiree questions are answered and issues with health insurers are resolved when necessary."
“Bottom line,” said Belcher, “OneExchange represents a better health care value proposition in aggregate for our retirees, and it helps Eastman manage costs into the future.”
Private Medicare exchanges becoming more common for large employers
Employers offering retiree health coverage that now use or plan to use a private Medicare exchange
*Source: 2014 Towers Watson/NBGH Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care
In the 19th Annual Towers Watson/ National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care, 71% of respondents reported that they either already offer retirees access to a private Medicare exchange or will offer one by 2016, up from 48% for 2015 and 32% for 2014.
“That 50 major U.S. employers have come back to us with new groups of retirees reflects the maturity and proven value of our exchange to both retirees and employers,” said Bryce Williams, managing director of Towers Watson’s Exchange Solutions business segment.
About the Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care
The 19th Annual Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care tracks employers’ strategies and practices, and the results of their efforts to provide and manage health benefits for their workforce. This report identifies the actions of high-performing companies, as well as current trends in the health care benefit programs of U.S. employers with at least 1,000 employees. The survey was completed by 595 employers between November 2013 and January 2014. Respondents collectively employ 11.3 million full-time employees, have 7.8 million employees enrolled in their health care programs and represent all major industry sectors.
About Towers Watson
Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) is a leading global professional services company that helps organizations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management. The company offers consulting, technology and solutions in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management. Towers Watson has more than 14,000 associates around the world and is located on the web at towerswatson.com.
This document contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements and other forward-looking statements in this document by words such as “may,” “will,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “plan,” “intend,” “continue,” or similar words, expressions or the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Towers Watson’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: a decline in client demand (for example, resulting from the reduced use of defined benefit plans); the risk of a disclosure breach of company or client data; the ability to successfully make suitable acquisitions and divestitures; the risk that the acquisitions of Extend Health and Liazon are not profitable or are not otherwise successfully integrated; our ability to protect client data and our information systems; the risk that potential changes in federal and state health care regulations, or future interpretation of existing regulations, may have a material adverse impact on our business; the risk that our Exchange Solutions or OneExchange businesses fail to maintain good relationships with insurance carriers, become dependent upon a limited number of insurance carriers or fail to develop new insurance carrier relationships; the risk that changes and developments in the health insurance system in the United States could harm our business; our ability to respond to rapid technological changes; the ability to recruit and retain qualified employees and to retain client relationships; and the risk that a significant or prolonged economic downturn could have a material adverse effect on Towers Watson’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Additional risks and factors are identified under “Risk Factors” in Towers Watson’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC.
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