Some U.S. employers may welcome government involvement in running health insurance exchange programs.

Analysts at the Healthcare Trends Institute, an affiliate of Evolution1, have reported data supporting that finding in a summary of results from a recent survey of about 250 benefits decision makers at U.S. employers of all sizes. The institute conducted the survey from June 2014 through November 2014.

About 77 percent of the survey participants said they had heard of the private exchange concept, but only 18 percent said they were very or fairly familiar with the concept. 

The analysts asked participants to rate the “features in a private exchange that are most important to you”:

  • Providing access to a large choice of plans at the preferred benefit level.

  • Letting all plans that meet minimum standards participate.

  • Actively screening plans.

  • Being run by either a state government or the federal government.

Offering a wide selection of plans at the preferred benefit level came in first: 43 percent of the participants said that feature would be very or somewhat important.

Being government-run came in last: Only 21 percent of the participants said being government-run would be a very or somewhat important feature. But 21 percent did say that, to them, being government-run was an important feature.

The participants were about as likely to say they like the idea of an actively screened exchange or that they like the idea of an exchange that offers slots to any plan that meets minimum exchange standards. Forty percent said they like the idea of active screening, and 39 percent said they like the idea of a minimum-standards approach.

The institute analysts did not discuss whether problems with how participants interpreted the questionnaire or other procedural issues might have affected the survey results.

See also: Private exchange firms seek PPACA exchange links