Enrollment Lags at State-Run SHOPs, Despite Insurer Options

A Commonwealth Fund review of the ACA’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) found that 13 of the 17 states (plus the District of Columbia) that operate a state-run SHOP offer plans from three or more insurers, but despite strong insurer participation, enrollment has been lower than expected. New York and California have each enrolled over 3,600 groups (covering approximately 42,000 lives), but five state SHOPs enrolled fewer than 200 employer groups. The researchers also found that the average employer group size in state-run SHOPs is consistently below 10 employees. According to the authors, this indicates that SHOPs are primarily attracting the “micro-group” market, a market often underserved by brokers and least likely to offer employer-sponsored coverage prior to the ACA.

Minnesota: Rate Requests Delayed Due to Blue Cross Exit From the Individual Market

The State Commerce Department has delayed the release of preliminary rate requests from individual market insurers from August 1 to September 1 so that insurers may evaluate the impact of Blue Cross Blue Shield's (BCBS) market exit. BCBS announced in July it would stop selling policies on the State's individual market (both on and off the Marketplace), requiring 103,000 individuals to find new coverage for 2017.