Revisiting the SHOP Small-Business Marketplaces

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<p>The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, was established alongside the Affordable Care Act’s individual insurance marketplaces to make it easier for small firms to compare health plans while giving workers a choice of affordable coverage options. As an incentive to buy coverage, the program also offers businesses a temporary sliding-scale tax credit.</p><p>In a new Commonwealth Fund report, Leif Wellington Haase and colleagues revisit two states’ experience with SHOP in the wake of significant changes to the program following a turbulent rollout in 2014. The authors find that California and Colorado, which both run full-featured SHOP programs, have managed to weather the early storms and even achieve modest enrollment gains.</p>
<p>Still, with fewer than 150,000 small-business workers enrolled nationwide, SHOP “has a long way to go if it is to become a focal point of the small-group insurance market,” the report finds. One path forward, the authors say, may be to transform the program over time into a one-stop shop for a range of employee benefits.</p> Read more