Contractors trade group to launch private insurance exchange

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The Arlington-based Associated General Contractors of America said Wednesday that it plans to launch a new private insurance exchange this summer in cooperation with Willis North America.

The new exchange, to be called “The AGC Alternative,” will allow the association’s 30,000 member firms to deliver health insurance and related benefits to their employees at a lower cost, officials said.

“This new exchange will make it far easier for member firms to provide top quality health insurance and related benefits for their employees,” Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s CEO, said in a statement. “Our members will now be able to secure the kind of convenient and discounted benefits that a growing number of large employers already enjoy.”

According to Sandherr, the new exchange will offer a broader range of options than typically available to individual firms, so employers and employees will get more benefits that meet their particular needs.

The new exchange also is expected to make it easier for firms to comply with the Affordable Care Act requirements.

Rick Hawkinberry, Willis Construction CEO said, “Willis has been a long-term partner with AGC and while we have previously focused our efforts in the very important area of employee and jobsite safety, we are delighted to work with AGC to bring this new solution to AGC member firms and their employees.”

Once AGC and Willis complete preparations, which includes the securing of a national insurance provider, each member firm will each be able to set up its own private company benefits exchange site for employees, Sandherr said. Participating firms will provide a stipend to their employees, who will use those funds to shop for health insurance and other benefits offered through the exchange.

The national trade association is the largest in the construction industry, representing 95 charter members, including general contractors, specialty contractors and service providers and suppliers.  It announced the new health insurance exchange during its annual convention now underway in Las Vegas.


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