For a small business in a state with a Federally Funded SHOP marketplace, changes have recently been release to ensure employers can take advantage of SHOP coverage and tax credits as soon as possible in 2014.
Small employers in 2014 will now be able to enroll their employees in SHOP coverage with the assistance of an agent, broker, or insurance company that offers a certified SHOP plan and who has agreed to conduct enrollment according to HHS standards.
This process called “direct enrollment” is similar to how most small employers currently get insurance today. A group will not be required to apply for SHOP eligibility before enrolling, or use Healthcare.gov, unless they would like to see information on plan options, including what insurance companies offer SHOP Qualified Health Plans in their area.
It is anticipated that small employers will have online access to an online SHOP Marketplace by November 2014. Also, effective on or after January 1, 2015, small employers will be able to offer their employees a choice of plans on the SHOP Marketplace from multiple insurers while continuing to remit a single monthly payment.
Please contact our office if your group is interested in reviewing the FF-SHOP plans available to your company.