Rep. David Joyce tried – and failed – to get information about the new public small group exchange system today at a hearing.
Joyce, R-Ohio, used his time at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing to try to scrape up some news about the Small Business Health Options Program.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to the hearing – on the proposed HHS budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 – with no SHOP details.
Joyce noted that HHS announced in November – after many small employers already were applying for SHOP coverage through HHS-run exchanges – that the HHS-run exchanges would be able unable to process the applications. HHS told the employers to re-file the applications directly with the insurers selling group qualified health plans through the SHOP exchanges.
“That was very disruptive to small employers,” Joyce said.
HHS is still releasing no information about SHOP enrollment automation development efforts, testing or availability, and it has published no data on 2014 SHOP enrollment, although numbers from state-based exchanges suggest the numbers may be minuscule, Joyce said.