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TMCNet:  Mercer Will Offer Clients Access to New Connextions Multicarrier Insurance Exchange to Help Them Manage Retiree Health Care Benefits

[November 29, 2012]

Mercer Will Offer Clients Access to New Connextions Multicarrier Insurance Exchange to Help Them Manage Retiree Health Care Benefits

NEW YORK & ORLANDO, Fla. --(Business Wire)--

Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, along with┬áConnextions, Inc., an innovative technology and business services partner to the health care industry, today launched myCustomHealth™, a new national Medicare retirement exchange to help employers minimize administrative burdens and cost, while offering retirees a broader choice of benefit options.

myCustomHealthTM relieves employers of the administrative burden associated with managing retiree insurance issues and annual plan review and renewal by providing a solution that integrates retiree medical insurance, including pharmacy, dental, vision and other benefit options, with wellness and other related services. The exchange features the industry's only fully integrated Retiree Reimbursement Account, offered by Connextions' parent company Optum, and the only default plan option, which will provide coverage for retirees who do not actively select a plan.

In addition, myCustomHealthTM delivers a positive enrollment experience for seniors through the largest call center of its kind that is staffed with "retiree-centric" advisers. Call center representatives serve customers continuously, from during their enrollment process to answering their questions throughout their coverage period to advocacy with their selected health insurance carrier when needed.

"US employers are struggling under the burden of ever-increasing retiree medical insurance costs. They're looking for a mechanism that allows them to offer coverage in a way that carefully manages their financial obligations while offering retirees affordable options based on individual needs," said Julio A. Portalatin, President and CEO of Mercer. "A market shift is taking place that employers need to explore."

According to Mercer's National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, the prevalence of medical plans for Medicare-eligible retirees continues to decline. However, among very large employers, roughly one-third still provide coverage to retirees 65 and older.

<> "Some large employers want to continue providing medical and other benefits to their Medicare-eligible retirees, but prefer to provide the retiree with a choice of benefit options and give them a subsidy to help pay for individual insurance coverage. Providing benefits through an exchange helps an employer ease the transition for their retirees and guides them through the insurance selection process," said Sharon Cunninghis, US leader of Mercer's health and benefits business. "The Connextions exchange will empower retirees with more benefit choices and personal assistance in choosing their benefits, while allowing employers to better manage costs and future liabilities."


The exchange builds on Connextions' experience serving retirees. Since 1999, Connextions has enrolled more than 1 million people into Medicare plans.

"myCustomHealthTM is a valuable tool for employers because it was designed top to bottom with the retiree in mind. It focuses on helping all retirees choose the plan that best fits their needs and giving them access to ongoing health and wellness solutions," said Rob Panepinto, managing director of Connextions' exchange solutions division. "Connextions' experience, track record and enterprise-size contact center capabilities make myCustomHealthTM unique in the marketplace, as do the extensive health and financial services that come from being part of the Optum family of companies."

About Mercer

Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset - their people. Mercer's 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMC), a global team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. With 52,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $10 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management consulting. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter (News - Alert) @MercerInsights.

About Connextions

Connextions, a pre-eminent technology and business services partner to the health care industry, helps carriers, providers, employers and other leading firms maximize revenue and increase efficiencies by optimizing customer experience. Powered by its proprietary bConnected technology and nearly 7,000 employees, Connextions drives more than $4 billion in acquisition, retention and services for the nation's top carriers and Exchange hosts.

Connextions is part of the Optum family of companies. For more information, visit www.Connextions.com.


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