Under the ACA, small employers (under 50 employees) have been able to purchase group medical coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Small employers in all states (but not DC) have also been able to purchase coverage from the private marketplace. Since the same plans, carriers, and rates are available in the private marketplace, there has been little incentive for small employers to use the SHOP.
Given that few small employers were using the SHOP, the CMS announced on May 15th that it is proposing to eliminate the federally-operated SHOP effective in 2018. State-based SHOPs, such as the Maryland Health Connection and the DC Health Link, may continue to operate.
As we learn more about changes in the Marketplace that may affect our clients, we will update you. In the meantime, please call your Keller account team with any questions.