Towers Watson & Company (NYSE:TW) has learned a lesson about running a health insurance exchange: Persuading some customers to enroll “off-cycle” makes life easier.
Executives at the company talked about their private exchange programs Tuesday during a conference call with analysts.
The Towers Watson private exchange programs focus mainly on serving employer-sponsored programs for retirees and active workers.
Extend Health — a company Towers Watson acquired in 2012 — has been running health insurance exchanges for retirees since 2006. Towers Watson started the year with about 560,000 retiree health exchange users.
Towers Watson also is developing private exchanges for employers that want to cover active employees. Those exchanges were serving about 127,000 people Jan. 1.
Towers Watson appears to be serving roughly as many people through its private exchanges as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is serving in Texas through an HHS-run Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange.
Revenue at the “exchange solutions” division increased to $48 million in the first quarter, up from $31 million for the first quarter of 2013.