Walgreen Co.’s director of health, benefits and wellbeing knew his company, like most in the U.S., was on an unsustainable path of increasing healthcare costs combined with employees who didn’t focus on their wellbeing. But when the company’s senior directors started thinking about moving employee healthcare offerings to a private exchange, he was adamantly against it.

Eventually going along with it rather than being the only outlier, Thomas Sondergeld Sr. said it’s a decision he has not regretted in the least. In fact, speaking Monday at an employer healthcare conference in National Harbor, Md., Sondergeld said one concern people raise when talking with him about moving their company to a private exchange is giving up too much control. However, that is a part of the move he has relished.  “For many years, I spent too much time in the minutia of running benefits and I couldn’t do any strategy,” he said. “Now all I do is strategy.”

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