Choice Builder, the nation’s private ancillary exchange, announced that the availability of dental, vision, chiropractic, and life insurance coverage to businesses with two to 199 employees.

The expansion from the current group size limit of 99 employees to 199 employees is available for coverage effective October 1, 2014, or later, so now even more groups can manage all of their ancillary benefits in one program with one monthly bill and one service center for customer care.

Launched in 2009, Choice Builder offers a diverse portfolio of coverage to small and mid-sized companies, including dental insurance from Delta Dental, Ameritas Group, and Madison National Life; vision benefits from VSP and EyeMed; chiropractic and acupuncture benefits from Landmark Healthcare; and life insurance protection from Assurity Life.

Coverage is available to employers on a voluntary basis (with employees paying all of the cost) or as employer-sponsored benefits (with the employer and employees sharing the cost).

"The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has focused a lot of attention on group health benefits and the requirement for many employers to offer coverage or face a fine," said Ron Goldstein, President and CEO of CHOICE Administrators, which operates Choice Builder.
"As employers look to make changes in their group health coverage, they’re also considering more ancillary benefits for employees.

In fact, Employee Benefit Adviser said last year that ancillary benefits may be the ‘silver lining’ of health care reform because the market is expected to grow significantly. Ancillary benefits present a great opportunity for brokers, employers, and employees. They give employees more benefit options. And they offer brokers another reason to talk with employers about how Choice Builder makes it easy to expand benefits without increasing the employer’s costs.

"Choice Builder was the first private ancillary exchange to launch in California five years ago, and the employer reception has been very positive," added Goldstein.

"Businesses appreciate the range of ancillary products we offer and the choice of employer-sponsored or voluntary benefits, so it can fit within any company’s budget. And, of course, the convenience of one program offering a range of coverage with just one enrollment form and one number to call for assistance is attractive to brokers, employers, and employees. The expansion of Choice Builder from 99 to 199 employee groups for coverage effective in October means we can serve an even larger portion of the marketplace, helping employers and employees in California and across the nation."