Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. ET
Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET
Automated Telephone Banking:
24 hours a day / 7 days a week
See our schedule of holiday hours.
In its most basic form, an exchange is an online marketplace where buyers can purchase various benefits for themselves and their family. Typically, benefits exchanges offer more benefit choices and provide the opportunity to personalize one’s benefit selections.
The basic concept is similar, but there are two very basic types of exchanges: public (state and federal government-run exchanges) and private exchanges. Income-based subsidies to purchase health insurance can only be used on a public exchange. These subsidies cannot be used on private exchanges.
Public exchanges are only available to individuals and small groups. Private exchanges cater to larger categories of exchange users: individuals, small groups, large and jumbo groups, consortiums, multiple-employer arrangements, active employees, retirees, part-timers and other subcategories as well.
For a more detailed discussion on exchanges, download our whitepaper: Emerging Health Insurance Exchange Models: The Intersection of Public and Private Exchanges.
With a defined contribution plan, employers contribute set amounts of money toward employees’ health insurance coverage. Under this model, employees have a wide range of benefit choices to select from within a private exchange system. With a defined benefits plan, an employer selects one or two specific health insurance options to offer employees.
Medical, dental and vision plans are most common, while some private exchanges may also offer life, disability, auto and homeowner’s coverage.
Federally run public exchanges often provide expanded benefit comparison spreadsheets to assist in the plan selection process and intermittent call center support. Generally, state-based exchanges have fared better than their federally run counterparts in terms of overall plan selection functionality and consumer experience.
Many private exchanges offer sophisticated decision support tools to assist individuals with their benefits selections, including future utilization projections, out-of-pocket costs, educational videos and professional call center support.
Learn more about First Niagara Benefits Exchange
Bswift is a third-party vendor of First Niagara Benefits Consulting. Such vendor is not affiliated with First Niagara Benefits Consulting, First Niagara Risk Management, Inc. or First Niagara Bank, N.A.
Risk management, benefits consulting services and insurance products are offered through First Niagara Risk Management, Inc., doing business as First Niagara Benefits Consulting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Niagara Bank, N.A., and a licensed insurance broker and agent. Insurance policies are obligations of the insurers that issue the policies. Insurance products may not be available in all states.
By providing your ZIP code, we can customize our content to display the rates, products, locations and Mortgage Consultants in your area. Alternately, you can continue without ZIP code.