Over 10,000 small businesses providing coverage through SHOP Exchanges

As of May 2015, approximately 10,700 small employers are providing coverage to workers through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges, according to recently released numbers from Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplaces. About 85,000 small business employees now receive health coverage through the SHOP Exchanges. This figure does not include data from Vermont or Idaho, as these states have not yet reported 2015 enrollment data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the SHOP Exchanges, which allow small businesses to offer coverage to workers at affordable rates. Employers with fewer than 25 full-time employees may be eligible to receive the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit if offering coverage through a SHOP Exchange. The tax credit could be worth up to 50 percent of small employer contributions to premium costs.

Counihan noted that unlike the individual market Health Insurance Exchanges, where open enrollment is only available once a year, employers can enroll in the SHOP Exchange at any time. Approximately 500 employers have been enrolling each month since November 2014, and Counihan expects enrollment to continue at these rates through 2015.

SOURCE: http://blog.cms.gov/2015/07/02/update-on-shop-marketplaces-for-small-businesses/

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