Omaha benefits company Swartzbaugh-Farber & Associates announced this summer it would start a private health insurance exchange for small businesses called Benefitbay.
On Dec. 1 the online exchange, operated from Omaha, will begin enrolling people for coverage to start Jan. 1 through the Omaha firm and other members of United Benefit Advisors, a national association of independent insurance brokerages.
The online exchange is for companies with 50 or fewer employees.
Zach Harris, president of Benefitbay, said the exchange offers a wide range of policies and cost savings similar to large-group policies.
Employers can drop their group insurance, determine how much they want to contribute to health coverage and refer employees to the exchange to shop for the coverage they want.
The exchange also guides lower-wage employees through the federal health insurance site if they qualify for tax credits that reduce their monthly premiums. It also offers other benefits such as vision, dental, disability and life insurance.