Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, today announced the launch of Mercer Marketplace SM, a private benefits exchange designed to help employers more effectively manage their benefit costs while providing employees and their dependents with superior choice, flexibility and service. This is an important addition to the suite of solutions that Mercer provides clients. “The convergence of a number of critical factors – the unsustainable rise in benefit costs, healthcare reform, ‘consumer-driven’ solutions, and improving technology – is transforming the provision of employee benefits,” said Julio A. Portalatin, President and CEO of Mercer. “Mercer Marketplace provides our clients with a market-leading platform and service to support their employees in this transformation.” Mercer’s new benefits exchange will provide employers with an opportunity to continue offering competitive benefits to their employees, which is an important attraction and retention tool, while actively managing spending and reducing their administrative responsibilities. Employees will have access to a broader array of benefits, as well as the ability to tailor those benefits to their particular needs, with the necessary support to make appropriate decisions. Employers of all sizes that use the Mercer Marketplace will have the flexibility to determine how much to contribute toward the cost of their benefits program and can select from a wide range of insured and self-funded products to offer to their workforce. They can thus design a competitive benefits program while understanding and controlling the costs associated with a wide range of options. The platform includes full benefits outsourcing and will support employees with call center and online decision support during the enrollment process and beyond. Mercer Marketplace will allow employers and employees access to a broad array of benefits – both traditional and voluntary – from multiple insurance providers, along with education tools and support to help employees customize their choices to better fit their needs. This private exchange will be available to employers with at least 100 employees.