Private exchanges are making a giant leap forward in how companies offer their employees benefits. For 2014 open enrollment, Accenture estimates that more than 3 million individuals enrolled in private exchanges – that’s three times what the consultancy estimated last year.

The original estimate was made in June 2013, and many things have happened over the last year that led to that estimate being shattered, Scott Brown, lead on Accenture’s private health insurance exchange offering, told HIX News. That included large employers making the move to private exchanges, including Walgreens, Sears and Petco. But most of the growth, Brown says, is still being driven from mid-market employers, with those around 1,000 employees.

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