The board of the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority — the “HBX” — wants the HBX to start life with a feature that will wow small-employer users.
The HBX board has decided that the D.C. “Small Business Health Options Program” (SHOP) exchange will let a small employer customer offer workers a plan menu program that includes all group plans available at a designated level of coverage.
An employer also could offer employees a choice of all health plans offered by one insurer in two “contiguous levels,” or simply offer one plan with one level of coverage.
The authority also “will collect data to examine the effectiveness of this approach, including a survey of employers and employees, an analysis of premiums, and options to further expand choice,” HBX board officials said.
The HBX board is going beyond what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will require.
Originally, HHS was going to require all SHOP exchanges to offer small employers access to plan menu programs in 2014. In March, HHS officials postponed the start date for the plan menu program requirement until 2015.