Benefits Buzz

SHOP Exchange Clarification

Posted on April 15th, 2013

The Obama administration announced last week that parts of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) would be delayed until 2015. This announcement has created a lot of confusion in the market.

The SHOP will be a new health insurance marketplace to provide exchange-based coverage to small businesses with up to 50 employees in most states. The SHOP is still expected to be launched as planned in 2014, but one of its key components will be delayed until 2015.

The SHOP exchange will not include an employee choice model next year as originally intended. Employers will only be able to offer employees a single plan.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated, "For transitional purposes we have proposed that in 2014, a SHOP may elect to have businesses choose one plan to offer employees, and in 2015 employees will be able to choose from the full range of plans in the Marketplace."

According to a recent article, the announcement has several business owners and politicians upset, stating the delay will limit the attractiveness of the SHOP exchange to small businesses. This delay may cause many small businesses to look for coverage outside of the SHOP exchange next year.

This recent announcement will impact all federally facilitated and state partnership exchanges including Illinois. State-based exchanges have the option to delay this feature until 2015, but some states have indicated they are still working towards an employee choice model for 2014.

If you are looking for a small business exchange solution, InsureXSolutions® can be the ideal fit. It's available today and can offer hundreds of plan options for employees of small businesses. Contact a Flex Sales Representative for more information about the InsureXSolutions private exchange.

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Note: The materials contained within are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal or tax advice.

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