The Associated General Contractors of America will offer members the ability to purchase health insurance at discounted group rates through a new privately run exchange, the association said.

Known as the “AGC Alternative,” it will be available this summer, officials said.

“This new exchange will make it far easier for member firms to provide top-quality health insurance and related benefits for their employees,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Our members will now be able to secure the kind of convenient and discounted benefits that a growing number of large employers already enjoy.”

Sandherr said he expects the exchange to reduce insurance costs for the 95 percent of member firms that provide employee health insurance currently. Many of them will see more options for their coverage, he added.

Rick Hawkinberry, chief executive of Willis Construction, which is part of global insurance broker Willis Group, said the company was looking forward to the partnership.

“Willis has been a long-term partner with AGC and while we have previously focused our efforts in the very important area of employee and jobsite safety, we are delighted to work with AGC to bring this new solution to AGC member firms and their employees,” he said.

Details are available at