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Employee Benefits and the New Health Care Landscape

Employee Benefits and the New Health Care Landscape

How Private Exchanges are Bringing Choice and Consumerism to America's Workforce

Alan Cohen

Oct 2017, Paperback, 288 pages
ISBN13: 9780134665306
ISBN10: 0134665309
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Using new private benefit exchanges, employers can bring the attractions of consumer-centric online shopping to benefits, giving employees unprecedented flexibility in benefits choices -- while also controlling costs through a defined compensation approach, just as they've done with retirement funding.

In this book, private benefit exchange innovator Alan Cohen introduces the concept to consultants, HR professionals, business owners, and insurers, and presents complete best practices for successful implementation. Drawing on his experience pioneering private benefit exchanges with Liazon's Bright Choices, Cohen:

  • Shows how online shopping has transformed consumer behavior, and how to apply these insights to the benefits industry
  • Explores the important shift to a defined contribution approach for benefits: the next wave from fee-for-service to managed care, to consumer-driven high-deductible health plans with HSAs
  • Shows how private exchanges can benefit both employers and employees
  • Helps you transition away from inefficient employer-managed plans
  • Explains the role and value of brokers in the marketplace
  • Reveals how exchanges affect HR
  • Projects the impact of trends such as industry consolidation, the Affordable Care Act, and its public exchanges
  • Examines the expansion and progress of the exchange system via real-world experiences
  • Shows how to achieve the full potential of choice marketplaces
  • Looks toward the future of the benefits industry, including notable innovations to date

1. A Better Way to Better Benefits and Health Care for Employers and Employees
2. The Accidental Entitlement: Benefits and How We Got Here
3. Making the Transition from Inefficient Employer-Managed Plans
4. They Don't Know What They're Missing: Flipping the Status Quo on its Head
5. How Exchanges Benefit Employers, Workers, and Providers
6. The Value of Brokers in the Marketplace
7. Private Exchanges and Expanded Human Resources Roles
8. Consumer-Driven Health Care Leads to Innovative Coverage and New Products
9. Exchanges, Benefits, and Post-ACA Politics
10. Fulfilling the Potential of Choice Marketplaces

  • Real healthcare and benefits reform, real innovation: the complete guide to the fast-growing private benefits exchange industry
  • Leveraging the lessons of the online shopping revolution to drive breakthrough innovation in the benefits industry
  • Case histories, design principles, social and economic implications, business practices, and more

Alan Cohen co-founded Liazon, operator of one of the industry’s leading private benefits exchanges for businesses of all sizes, in 2007. Liazon was acquired by Towers Watson, now Willis Towers Watson, in 2013.

Alan has been a leader in the benefits space for over two decades. Prior to cofounding Liazon, he was CEO and cofounder of Online Benefits, one of the first web-based benefits technology companies in the United States. He led the company through its sale to A.D.A.M, a global provider of consumer health information and benefits technology solutions, and later served as president of A.D.A.M. Prior to cofounding Online Benefits, he worked in the insurance industry for Prudential, Mass Mutual, and Cigna and served as managing director for a division of Northwestern Mutual Life.

Alan is often sought out for his insights on private exchanges, their role in the new health care landscape, and their effect on businesses. His expert commentary has appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Yahoo! Finance,, and numerous benefits publications, including Employee Benefit News and Benefits Pro. In 2016, Alan was a recipient of an “Industry Innovator” award by the Institute for HealthCare Consumerism (IHC). IHC’s 11th annual “HealthCare Consumerism Superstars and Industry Innovator Awards” recognized the year’s top executives for their work in transforming the landscape of corporate health and benefits.

In this book, Alan draws on his in-depth experience in the benefits industry to share how the key principles he used to create one of the first private exchange platforms over 10 years ago is still relevant to anyone interested in forging a better system for all.

Alan holds a BA from Cornell University, an MBA from Columbia Business School, and an MBA from London Business School, where he won the Award for Academic Excellence.

Alan resides in Westchester, New York, with his family and spends summer weekends in Woodstock, New York. The Cohens are avid skiers and outdoors people.

“When Alan Cohen opened the doors at Liazon in 2007, he revolutionized the way insurance was sold. Though the idea was simple, it was also ahead of its time. Liazon was among the first companies to establish a private health insurance exchange, a trend that has since exploded. Employee Benefits and the New Health Care Landscape gives us a rare, inside look into the mind that created ‘the exchange wave’ ten years ago.”
—Kathryn Mayer, Editor-in-Chief, Employee Benefit News

“Regardless of your political affiliation, sitting out the current debate on health care and benefits is no longer an option. Private exchanges offer one solution to one part of the problem; this book explains why.”
—Christopher E. Condeluci, CC Law & Policy PLLC, ACA expert

“It has been my pleasure to work with Alan Cohen over the years and observe the private exchange evolution firsthand. The industry has been in need of a book like this for a very long time.”
—Rhonda Marcucci, Vice President, HR & Benefits Technology Consulting Practice at Gruppo Marcucci, a division of Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc.