Cigna (CI) has established a private retail exchange, offering employers a new benefit marketplace and employees more options and convenience for health improvement.

Cigna’s private exchange is currently available to smaller employers in Atlanta, Dallas, Washington, D.C. metro area, and San Francisco, and will be expanded to other markets and larger employer groups throughout 2014.

"Cigna’s goal is to offer a full range of plan choices to employers, and employees and their families as they become more actively involved in their health and benefit choices," said Dave Guilmette, president, global employer segment for Cigna.

With Cigna’s new offering, employees have access to user-friendly "health care benefit plan decision support tools" to shop for and enroll in the plans that best meet their unique needs. For employers, the exchange offers a benefits administration platform that allows them to provide their employees with a broader choice of plan options, while simplifying employers’ administrative responsibilities and controlling benefit costs. In addition, Cigna’s brokers can also benefit from this easy, turnkey private exchange solution.

Cigna’s private exchange is supported by the company’s award winning services, such as 24/7 live customer service, industry leading online tools and an extensive national physician network. The suite of products available to employees includes medical, pharmacy, dental, vision, life/accident and disability plans.

"Entering into the private exchange marketplace extends Cigna’s strategy to give our customers more options to select a plan that meets their needs, including fully integrated products and services designed to improve their health and get the most from their health care dollars," said Guilmette.

In addition to this proprietary solution, Cigna is actively participating in a number of private exchanges administered by benefit consultants and brokerage firms that target active employees (including fully insured and self-insured models), and retirees. The private exchange "marketplace" expands Cigna’s portfolio of cost-competitive solutions for employers and their employees and retirees.