Health insurer Aetna has agreed to purchase Bswift, a privately held technology company that organizes and manages health benefits for employers and health insurance exchanges.
The $400 million cash transaction builds off Aetna's growing investment in private exchanges. Many employers are moving to private exchanges, which allow employees to shop and track their health benefits through an online platform. Employers give workers a fixed sum of money to buy health plans, and exchanges operated by health insurers like Aetna usually include the insurers' plans.
Aetna most recently established a private exchange with Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores. Together, Aetna and Sam's Club are building an exchange exclusively for Sam Club's members who are small-business owners.
With Bswift, Aetna will be able to cater to more employers and exchanges who want to improve consumers' shopping experience for health insurance—and boost Aetna's stature as a benefits administrator.
“With more employers giving employees their choice of benefits via private exchanges, Bswift's technology platform will provide Aetna with the capability to deliver a new private-exchange offering for employers of all sizes where the focus is on helping people easily choose a plan that's right for them and their families,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in a release.
Aetna's acquisition of Chicago-based Bswift is expected to close by year-end.
The deal is the second in the past few months involving Bswift co-founder Michael Sachs. Sachs also is chairman and founder of healthcare analytics firm Sg2, which was bought out by MedAssets in August for $142 million.
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