Exchange Board Alters SHOP Plan

The Health Benefits Exchange Board has decided not to go forward with a stand-alone online exchange for the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) and to simply use an existing system for employers. This expansion of the existing system will cost between $1 to $3 million, and opposed to the development of a stand-alone system which would have cost between $10 and $20 million.  The expanded system will still use brokers and third-party administrators to oversee the purchase of insurance and to administer the electronic exchange market.

Currently, the system is paper-based and only includes one carrier, however the expanded system will be fully implemented by 2016 and will be fully automated and include multiple carriers.  The Maryland Chamber has been active in advocating on behalf of employers to ensure the greatest amount of flexibility and availability of coverage options, and for caution on the Boards part in implementing any changes too quickly. We will continue to keep you informed as changes and expansion occur with the SHOP program. For more information, contact Mathew Palmer at mpalmer@mdchamber.org.

Legislative Issues Tag: Health Care

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