HealthCare.gov may take in about 6,000 exchange coverage applications from small employers per year.
That’s about 3 percent of the group application activity level the program managers were originally expecting. HealthCare.gov managers estimated in 2012 that HealthCare.gov would get about 200,000 Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) applications per year.
See also: 5 ways small-group exchange plans went wrong
Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have published the new SHOP application flow figure in an paperwork review notice that appeared today in the Federal Register and a paperwork review packet posted on its own website.
The figure includes only HealthCare.gov SHOP application activity. The figure does not include SHOP application activity at the state-based Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange programs.
CMS is the arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that runs the HealthCare.gov PPACA exchange enrollment system and related back-office administration systems.
The federal Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) requires CMS to put efforts to collect information through a review process, and then to give members of the public a chance to comment on each information collection effort every three years.
In 2012, CMS estimated when it first described the SHOP application process that completing an application would take a small employer an average of about 15 minutes. The agency now estimates completing the application process will take a small employer an average of about two hours.
Employees of companies with SHOP coverage have to file applications of their own. CMS estimates HealthCare.gov is getting about 60,000 SHOP coverage applications from employees per year, or about 6 percent of the 1 million in employee application flow the agency estimated in 2012.