Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Key Dates for the SHOP Marketplace

By Dana Halvorson

As noted in previous communications, the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) was created in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and is a new way for small businesses to buy health insurance for their employees.  You can offer employee coverage through the SHOP Marketplace at any time during the year.  Included in this article are a few key enrollment dates to remember from HealthCare.gov.  If your employee enrollments are submitted between the 1st and 15th day of the month, your group coverage begins the first day of the next month.  For example, if your employee enrollments are submitted on February 10, 2014, your group coverage begins March 1, 2014.  For enrollments submitted after the 15th of the month, coverage begins the second following month.  So, if employee enrollments are submitted on February 18, your group coverage will begin on April 1.  If you want your employees’ coverage to begin on January 1, 2014, the current deadline is December 23. 

All the federally facilitated exchanges are available for employers with less than 100 employees.  The State exchanges are available to those employers with less than 50 employees, and there are 16 state exchanges and 35 federally facilitated exchanges.  Employers that are eligible for SHOP can call the Health Insurance Marketplace Small Employer Call Center at 1-800-706-7893 to get general SHOP and small business questions answered by a customer service representative Monday through Friday, 9am to 7pm EST.  If you have any questions relating to the ACA, please submit them to insurancecoverage@ahca.org, and be sure to check out AHCA/NCAL’s ACA website.

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