SOURCE: Liazon


December 06, 2012 06:00 ET

Independent Health Teams With Liazon for Private Benefits Exchange

Bright Choices Exchange Provides Businesses Defined Contribution Model With Personalized Benefits for Employees

BUFFALO, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 6, 2012) - Independent Health has begun offering its innovative health care plans through Liazon's award-winning Bright Choices® Exchange to employers. Bright Choices helps employers control the escalating cost of health care benefits while giving employees greater benefits choices. The program will be available to customers in Western New York beginning immediately.

With Bright Choices, employers use a defined contribution funding strategy to provide each employee with a set amount of money to shop for coverage in the online exchange. Employees can then personalize their coverage to best fit their needs by choosing from a wide variety of benefits options. These options include multiple medical plans from Independent Health along with dental, vision, disability, life, critical illness, accident, wellness, telemedicine, legal services, HSAs, FSAs, and even pet insurance.

Independent Health is a leader and innovator in the health care market, building plans that encourage and reward employees for becoming more engaged and motivated to live healthier lifestyles. The plan options available through Bright Choices vary in premiums and member cost sharing while offering comprehensive benefits. Each of the plans includes a component that gives members a unique level of choice and control, such as out-of-pocket costs, or benefits based on their lifestyle, health care choices or provider preferences. All the plans are supported by Independent Health's nationally recognized customer service.

"Independent Health shares Liazon's philosophy that giving employees the power to customize their own benefits leads to greater engagement of people in their own health," said David Donovan, Independent Health's vice president of sales. "Independent Health has long believed that a high level of customer engagement and wide-ranging partnerships, such as this one with Liazon, are important components to achieving better quality and lower health care costs in the long run." The Bright Choices Exchange with Independent Health plans is targeted to companies with 50 or fewer employees. 

Bright Choices has been attracting the attention of employers since its launch in 2008 and now serves more than 2,000 businesses nationwide. One of the key reasons for its popularity with employees is the personalized shopping experience that follows a logical flow to help employees understand and select the best benefits for them. Bright Choices walks each user through a questionnaire about health, wealth, and personality in order to recommend the right benefits package for them and their families.

"Typically, small to medium sized organizations had limited to no choice when it came to selecting a health plan for their employees," said Mark Mortenson, president and CEO of the Buffalo Museum of Science. The museum is one of the first customers to sign on to the Bright Choices Exchange with Independent Health plans. "With the Bright Choices program, I can offer my employees a choice of multiple plans to meet their individual needs instead of a 'one-size-fits-all' approach. It also brings in other benefits opportunities for our employees like dental, vision and additional life insurance."

Bright Choices is available to businesses through select brokers. Contact Independent Health at 716-631-5392 to find out more.

About Independent Health
Headquartered in Buffalo, Independent Health began operations in 1980 and has consistently been rated among the top health plans in the country for customer service and member satisfaction. Independent Health's comprehensive portfolio of product and service offerings includes fully insured group products, individual plans, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care plans, traditional indemnity insurance, consumer-directed plans, and self-funded administration. Independent Health's subsidiary companies include Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions, Reliance Rx, and Nova Healthcare Administrators, Inc. For more information, visit

About Liazon
Founded in 2007, Liazon Corporation operates the market-leading private benefits exchange for small and mid-sized businesses. Its flagship product, the Bright Choices® Exchange, is an online benefits store that is changing the way employers and employees buy benefits. Bright Choices helps employers save money on their healthcare costs by setting predictable budgets while guiding employees to purchase better coverage of health, dental, vision, life and disability benefits. Liazon works with top national and regional insurance providers and supports more than 2,000 businesses nationwide. Liazon has offices in Buffalo, NY, New York City and Waltham, MA. To learn more about Liazon and the Bright Choices Exchange, go to

Note To Editor
Independent Health will be offering five plans through Bright Choices. The plans provide a range of monthly premiums and cost-sharing options.

FlexFit Select: Allow employees to choose their level of benefits based on lifestyle:

  • FlexFit Select provides one plan, one premium, with two options: Family and Active (with variable copayments best suited to meet the lifestyle needs of the individual).
  • Individuals and/or families receive a $250 credit that can be applied toward benefits like participating fitness centers, vitamins, acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, swimming lessons, soccer, after-school programs and more.

Empower (two options): Enables employees to choose their level of benefits based on their level of engagement and their approach toward healthy behaviors:

  • Empower is one plan with two levels: Enhanced (lower out-of-pocket costs) and Standard (higher out-of-pocket costs).
  • The plan rewards employees through lower out-of-pocket costs when they take necessary steps towards maintaining or working on a healthier lifestyle.
  • Empower focuses on modifiable health risk factors including tobacco use, high body mass index and high blood pressure. 

iDirect: Gives employees choice and control over their health care dollars:

  • This consumer-directed health plan design gives members greater choice and control over their health care decisions, allowing employees to pay lower premiums and get the benefits they need while taking greater responsibility for their health care.
  • iDirect is offered with a tax-savings Health Savings Account (HSA) to help offset out-of-pocket expenses and provide an avenue for long-term health care savings.

Passport Select: Offers employees greater choice and control over the use of in-network and out-of-network providers:

  • Passport Plan Select provides employees with a balance of rich benefits and the convenience of predictable copayments once their plan deductible is fulfilled.
  • Passport Plan offers high-quality coverage, along with enhanced out-of-area coverage.

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