SHOP Expanding To Allow Employers To Choose Two Benefit Levels
During a board meeting last week, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee announced that the state's Small Business Health Options Program will expand to allow employers to offer health coverage in two benefit levels beginning Oct. 1, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Currently, the SHOP exchange only allows employers to offer health plans in one benefit level (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 6/20).
Background on SHOP
In December 2013, Covered California formally launched SHOP, its health insurance exchange website for small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the SHOP portal allows small businesses to offer either a single plan to all of their workers or select a benefit level and allow employees to choose among several plans offered at that level (California Healthline, 5/8).
According to the Business Journal, about 1,500 small business groups so far have enrolled through the SHOP program:
- 7,432 employees; and
- 3,272 dependents.
Details of Expansion
The change announced last week will bring SHOP in line with the market for commercial small group coverage, according to the Business Journal. Under the expansion, small businesses will be able to:
- Select two contiguous coverage tiers;
- Establish an employee contribution level; and
- Make any plan in either tier available to employees.