SHOP Exchanges Taking a Slice of Small Biz Market

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media , March 18, 2014

As part of their enrollment efforts, HealthSource RI officials said they are working to build partnerships with brokers. "We offer training for brokers and we work hard to let employers know that if they have a relationship with a broker they like and trust, they can continue to work with that broker to enroll through HealthSource RI."

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island is bullish on the small business insurance policies it is offering through HealthSource RI. "Some of the good SHOP exchange news in Rhode Island is that the site functions well, there have been no significant IT issues, and the experience for businesses and brokers of purchasing coverage in a new way has been positive. We anticipate these early and continuing HealthSource RI successes will build momentum and help grow our state's SHOP exchange over the coming months and year," said Tom Boucher, a spokesman for the health plan.

'Hard to be Definitive'
Brian Kim, senior vice president for account management at Southboro, Massachusetts-based ikaSystems, which is helping health plans operate on the new public exchanges, said it is too early to determine whether the SHOP exchanges are a small business health insurance game changer.

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1 comments on "SHOP Exchanges Taking a Slice of Small Biz Market"

Michael Lujan (3/18/2014 at 4:36 PM)
The value of value will prove itself over time. The first was mostly about enrollment in the individual market. In most states, the small group market was relatively stable with guaranteed coverage for small employers. In CA, we've had something like SHOP since 1993 and still have private exchange products for small groups. If SHOP can offer unique plans (e.g. Medicaid plans normally not offered in the commercial market) and leverage their public exchange platform to also enroll part-time workers not eligible for group coverage... they may have an advantage in the commercial segment. Enrollment in SHOP will grow starting August through Dec 2014 when they begin to capture groups who chose "early renewal" in Q4 2013. So much of this will depend on public exchanges embrace and support of Certified Agents who serve the employer market. Since nearly 90% of small employers work with licensed agents, exchanges would be wise to provide dependable agent support and not work against this important enrollment channel. #AgentsAreTheAnswer




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