SHOP Exchanges in California and Colorado Illustrate Program’s Problems and Potential

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<p>The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) has gotten off to a slow start, plagued by lower-than-expected enrollment and a public perception problem. But the program, created by the Affordable Care Act to provide small firms with a choice of affordable health plan options, has achieved some successes as well.</p><p>A new Commonwealth Fund report focusing on the SHOP marketplaces in California and Colorado illustrates the program’s mixed story thus far. According to authors Leif Wellington Haase, David Chase, and Tim Gaudette, thousands of small businesses and workers in the two states have enrolled in SHOP coverage over the past two years, even as take-up has fallen short of initial projections. Findings from surveys and interviews conducted with business owners, insurance executives, brokers, consumer advocates, and policymakers paint a picture of a program that has significant shortcomings, but also the potential to provide employers and their workers with more affordable coverage choices.</p> See the report