Some state-based Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchanges may have gotten Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) plan enrollment up to the interesting-pilot-program level.
In Colorado, for example, managers of Connect for Health Colorado say their SHOP exchange may be covering about 1.4 percent of the people in their state’s small-group market.
But, in many states, exchange managers prefer to talk about some other subject.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have refused even to give members of Congress information about HealthCare.gov state SHOP enrollment.
Christopher Koller, president of the Milbank Memorial Fund, an organization in Hawaii, told lawmakers there earlier this year that it looked as if the typical exchange that provides SHOP data may be serving less than 0.5 percent of its state’s small-group market.
Now officials in Nevada have revealed why they have not spent much time talking about SHOP enrollment: as of Feb. 22, Nevada Health Link, a transparent, agent-friendly but glitch-plagued exchange, had enrolled only six people in SHOP coverage.
Damon Haycock, the chief operating officer, gave that number at a board meeting in April, according to meeting minutes posted on the exchange website and, apparently, first noticed by Sophia Peramteau of Optomis Insurance.
The typical minivan sold in the United States today has enough room to seat at least seven passengers. By mid-April, Nevada’s individual exchange had taken plan selection information for 73,596 people.
Bruce Gilbert, the executive director of the Nevada exchange, said one obstacle to expanding SHOP enrollment is that, even though the exchange has talked with agents and brokers about the small-group plans, it has not emphasized SHOP sales. Gilbert said he would be talking to agents and brokers to come up with strategies for improving results.
For a look at what else Gilbert said about the challenges of breaking the minivan passenger capacity barrier, read on.