The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Finance Corporation and Extend Health, part of professional services firm Towers Watson, have formed a partnership to provide California county retirees access to the private Medicare exchange in US.

Extend Health operates as Towers Watson’s Exchange Solutions business segment.

The Medicare exchange, an initial component of Towers Watson’s OneExchange suite, offers several private Medicare plans from more than 85 health insurance carriers apart from licensed benefit advisors and technology-based decision support tools that provide personalized guidance to retirees.

CSAC Finance executive director Nancy Parrish said: "Our counties are under mounting pressure to maximize the value of every tax dollar spent while meeting their commitments to those who have worked to serve California residents in their careers."

"This partnership allows California counties to increase their retirees’ health coverage options, and gives them expert advice to pick the best coverage for them with a program that is cost-effective and sustainable for the county," added Parrish.

The Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA) assistant CEO Kathy Foster said that the Medicare exchange has been able to provide Alameda County retirees with high-quality health coverage as an alternative to a high-cost group plan that was becoming unsustainable.