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Small-Business Owners Weigh in on SHOP Insurance Marketplaces

A majority of small-business owners who provide their employees with health benefits would like to be able to offer a choice of plans while paying a fixed cost, with workers choosing more expensive plans paying extra, according to new survey findings published by Health Affairs.

This type of coverage is a key feature of 17 of the 18 state-run Small Business Health Insurance Options (SHOP) marketplaces, through which employers can buy health coverage for their workers. Federally run marketplaces will also offer it beginning in 2015.

The Commonwealth Fund–supported study, led by Jon Gabel, a senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, also found that—thanks to provisions of the reform law—22 percent of the firms offering coverage have extended health insurance coverage to their employees’ adult children and 16 percent had received rebates from insurance companies that spent too much money on administrative costs.

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