Healthcare benefits firm Aetna Inc, announced on Nov. 4, that it is planning to acquire Bswift, a software and technology services company that oversees private and public health insurance exchanges for consumers and employers worldwide.
The Hartford, Connecticut-based insurance giant will pay $400 million, which it expects to finance with available resources, according to an Aetna press release. The transaction is currently subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to close by the end of this year. Aetna, which is the third largest U.S. health insurer, has set expansion of public and private exchanges as its top priority.
The acquisition is seen as the first of its kind by large insurance companies who are seeing immense potential in human resources and benefits technology where software firms such as bswift, Castlight Health and Zenefits already exist in the health care domain. Bswift’s software and services portfolio will help simplify benefits, HR as well as payroll administration for employers and health insurance exchanges across the U.S.
Mark Bertolini, Aetna chairman, CEO and president, in a statement said that bswift’s consumer-friendly technology fits well with its health care exchange strategy. “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,” Bertolini said.
Furthermore, Dijuana Lewis, Aetna’s executive vp for consumer products and enterprise marketing stated that, the acquisition will help advance their vision to transform health benefits industry into a consumer-centric retail model that will be much more affordable and easily accessible.
Companies nowadays, recognize the potential of employee engagement in today’s ever evolving digital workforce, where bringing consumer-oriented technologies are highly relevant.
“We at bswift are thrilled to become a part of Aetna at such a pivotal time in the transformation of the health care system. Together, bswift and Aetna can contribute to more affordable health care by engaging, educating and empowering consumers to make value-based decisions,” said bswift CEO Rich Gallun. “Aetna will help expand the reach of our technology and benefits services with a goal of creating a true consumer marketplace for health care. We look forward to continuing the growth of our core business with employers, brokers, carriers and other organizations, in addition to adding more business by working with Aetna.”
Chicago-based Bswift, was established in 2000 and has around 380 employees. It specialized in managing public, private and broker exchanges in addition to serving employer groups of diverse nature. Post-acquisition, Bswift will operate under Aetna’s leadership but as a separate business unit. The firm is owned by its employees, and several investors including private equity firm Great Hill Partners.