State Exchanges Faring Little Better Than The Delayed Federal Exchange
News surrounding the Affordable Care Act’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) continues to be discouraging. As the Washington Post reports on Monday, small-business owners “have been slow to select plans through marketplaces” since they were supposed to launch nationwide. This stems mainly from the fact that few states have functional exchanges for small businesses. Most importantly, the federal government has yet to finalize the SHOP exchange for any of the 36 states for which it is responsible. Further, many of the states that have set up their own exchanges aren’t having much success. According to the Post, in Washington DC, “fewer than 300 individuals have purchased a plan offered by their small business on the city’s new exchange, even though nearly 10,000 employers have created an online profile allowing them to shop for coverage.” The Post adds that in Maryland, “small-business enrollment has not started.”
What it changes:All the states relying on the federal government to run their exchanges do not even have a SHOP exchange yet, despite a deadline that passed in October. Moreover, the federal government has yet to say when the exchange will be functional. And, as several media reports have noted recently, in the states that do have SHOP exchanges, they often don’t work well.
Next steps:States are vowing to fix their own SHOP exchanges, and the federal government claims the federal SHOP exchanges will be ready in November of this year
Further Reading:NFIB has worked tirelessly to offer solutions and encourage Congress to pursue reforms that will help lower healthcare costs and provide affordable options for small businesses. Read more
A Bloomberg BusinessWeek report from earlier this month details how “small business enrollment in Obamacare health plans is off to a slow start.”
This news article is intended to keep small business owners apprised of current events that may affect them. It does not necessarily reflect NFIB’s policy position on such issues.