Federal SHOP Marketplace Launches Early in Five States

The Federally-Facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace launched early in five states, giving small businesses, agents, and brokers the opportunity to test pre-enrollment features before the official Open Enrollment begins on November 15. The features allow users to create an account, assign an agent/broker, and obtain an eligibility determination on the SHOP Marketplace. Earlier in October, the five “Early Access” states, which include Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and Ohio, participated in forums with HHS to provide feedback on the features prior to the launch.

CMS Releases Payment Methodology Notice and Other Documents Related to Basic Health Program

The proposed payment methodology used to determine federal funding for the Basic Health Program (BHP) in 2016 mirrors the final methodology used in 2015, according to a proposed notice issued by CMS. Payments will be made to states that elect to implement the BHP to cover individuals with incomes less than 200% of the federal poverty level who are otherwise eligible to purchase coverage through a Marketplace. CMS plans to issue a final payment notice by February 2015. To help calculate these payments to states, the Agency also released a data collection tool to collect State Based Marketplaces' premium information for select Marketplace plans. Finally, CMS released the final BHP Blueprint that requests information from states on program design, operations, and the legal compliance of their BHP programs. States must complete the Blueprint in order to receive federal certification for BHP.