Towers Watson & Co to acquire biggest private Medicare exchange

Towers Watson & Co , a New York-headquartered professional services company, held on Sunday that it would take over Extend Health Inc, operator of the largest private Medicare Advantage Plan exchange in the United States, to enhance its health benefits for employers.

Health medicare insurance exchanges are in the limelight as the Supreme Court assesses Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, whose provisions comprise the operation of subsidized, state-regulated health insurance markets in 2014.

By running a private Medicare Plan exchange since 2006, with the help of which consumers compare plans from different carriers side by side, Extend Health alleges to have already helped over 130 companies, like Ford Motor Co , General Motors Co and Caterpillar Inc , save as much as $400 million annually in retiree health insurance costs.

Bryce Williams, CEO of Extend Health Plans,  mentioned that it is a crucial time for retiree health benefits. Both companies have a precedent of helping employers develop strategies and create programs for employee and retiree benefits. Under the deal, Williams is to pilot a new business segment within Towers Watson termed “Exchange Solutions” that will inherit Extend Health’s more than 30 Fortune 500 employers and over 200,000 retirees.

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