Experient Health Discusses How 18 SHOP Exchanges Will Delay Employee Choice For 2015 in Latest Blog Post

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Experient Health uses community education Blog to discuss the recent Department of Health and Human Services release of a list of federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Programs where the employee choice model will be delayed until 2016.

Recently, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released of a list of federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOP) where the employee choice model will be delayed until 2016, Experient Health, the health insurance arm of the Virginia Farm Bureau, detailed in the latest edition of its community education Blog series.

In total, 18 states will not provide the employee choice model in 2015, Experient Health reported.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), each state must have an Exchange where individuals and small businesses may purchase health insurance. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is the Exchange for small businesses, Experient Health wrote.

The ACA requires each SHOP to provide an “employee choice model,” in which the employer chooses a level of coverage and a contribution amount and employees can select any plan at that level.

“HHS has delayed implementation of the employee choice model," Experient Health wrote. "For 2014 plan years, the FF-SHOP does not offer the employee choice model. Also, on May 16, 2014, HHS issued a final rule providing a transition rule for the employee choice model for 2015 plan years. This transition policy allows state regulators to recommend that employee choice not be implemented in that state for 2015 based on certain market conditions.”

The list that the HHS released on June 10, 2014 includes a list of 18 FF-SHOP states where the employee choice model will not be provided in 2015.

These states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. Employers in these states will be able to offer employees a single health plan and a single dental plan through the SHOP Exchange.

Employee choice is expected to be available in all FF-SHOPs in 2016. Most state-run SHOPs began offering the employee choice model to small employers in 2014.

Questions? Contact an Experient Health, Virginia Farm Bureau Company, benefits consultant for more information, or visit the Experient Health Blog here for other details on the 18 delayed SHOP exchanges.

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