Small Business will be allowed to Bypass the ACA Marketplace

CMS has announced that small businesses will be allowed to bypass the SHOP, the Affordable Care Act Marketplace designed for small businesses.

Document Excerpt

CMS will be exploring a more efficient implementation of the Federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplaces in order to promote insurance company and agent/broker participation and make it easier for small employers to offer SHOP plans to their employees, while maintaining access to the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. CMS intends to propose rulemaking that would change how small employers and employees in SHOPs using enroll in SHOP plans taking effect on or after January 1, 2018. Under the approach CMS intends to propose, instead of enrolling online at, employers would enroll directly with an insurance company offering SHOP plans, or with the assistance of an agent or broker registered with the Federally-facilitated SHOP. Under the intended approach, employers would still obtain a determination of eligibility by going to Employers that have enrolled in SHOP coverage for plan years that began in 2017 would be able to continue using in 2018 for enrollment and premium payment, until their current plan year ends and it’s time to renew. Employers can sign up for SHOP coverage taking effect in 2017 on until November 15, 2017. Under the approach CMS intends to propose, it is anticipated that states operating State-based SHOP Marketplaces would be able to provide for online enrollment, or could opt to direct small employers to insurance companies and SHOP-registered agents and brokers to directly enroll in SHOP plans.


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