Smart Benefits: November 15 Key for Individual – and Employer – Health Exchange Enrollment
Monday, November 03, 2014
-Window for SHOP enrollment with less than 70% participation. Unlike individuals (who generally must sign up for a health plan during the three-month open enrollment window), small businesses that want to purchase insurance through the Small Business Health Plan Options Program (SHOP) exchange can usually enroll in any month. But to be eligible to sign up for a SHOP plan year round, at least 70% of the employer’s full-time employees must enroll in that SHOP plan. If small businesses can’t satisfy that requirement, November 15 marks the start of a one-month window when they can enroll in a SHOP plan with less than 70% participation of full-time employees.
-Expected launch of online SHOP enrollment. While SHOP has been open since late 2013, the online option was delayed and is still not operational in most states. For the almost three dozen states using the federal government’s small business exchange, November 15 is the expected release date of the online portion of the program. At that time, employers should be able to purchase group coverage via computer rather than using paper forms. Many states running their own small business exchanges are also launching or improving their online systems.
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