SHOP

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

I don't write much about Rhode Island outside of the actual Open Enrollment Period each year, and I almost never write about the ACA's "SHOP" (Small Business Health Options Program...which should really be labelled SB-HOP) these days (the program has never enrolled more than perhaps 200,000 people nationally at most)...but both the state and the program could use a little love, so what the heck:

HealthSource RI for Employers enrolls its 700th small business

RUMFORD, RI (March 6, 2018) – HealthSource RI for Employers today announced it has hit a major milestone. The health insurance marketplace for small employers has now enrolled its 700th small business. These 700 local businesses reflect over 5,200 Rhode Islanders.

Regular readers know that generally speaking, I support the ACA overall. They also know that I also have significant criticisms of the law, and have compiled a lengthy list of fixes/improvements both small and large which I feel are necessary to stabilize the individual market. I've also written on occasion about the SHOP provision of the ACA: The small business version of the ACA exchanges.

The idea was to give small businesses with fewer than 50 employees an open marketplace to comparison shop, similar to the individual exchanges, and also to provide some amount of financial assistance to them along the lines of APTC for indy market enrollees. The ACA requires businesses with over 50 full-time employees to provide coverage, but it's voluntary for those under 50, so SHOP has always been more of a courtesy program than a necessary one.

I've decided that for all future ACA enrollment data reports, I'm going to tack on "...on brink of possible ACA repeal" to the headline. Seems appropriate.

It's been quite awhile since I've written much of anything about the ACA's SHOP programs, which are the small business counterpart to the individual/family exchanges. The reason is pretty simple: SHOP enrollment is mostly a rounding error compared to either the ACA's Individual exchange enrollments or Medicaid expansion numbers.

SHOP enrollment (a mere 120K - 170K nationally, as far as I can tell) is even dwarfed by BHP program enrollment (around 700,000)...and that's only available in 2 states (Minnesota and New York). Heck, I don't even bother tracking them on my spreadsheets or graphs (I tried in 2014 but gave up on it the following year).

Still, once in awhile there's a bit of SHOP news to report, and this press release out of Minnesota is such an occasion:

Long-time readers know that ever since I started this project in 2013, I gradually added and enhanced the healthcare coverage data that I was tracking. First it was exchange-based QHPs only; then I added (or separated out) Medicaid expansion, SHOP (small business) exchange enrollment, off-exchange individual policies and so on. The off-exchange numbers were always significant but spotty because most insurance carriers are very cagey about breaking out their membership in too much detail if they don't have to, and many state insurance departments don't bother to track (or at least publicly report) those numbers.

SHOP enrollment, on the other hand, should be very cut and dry. Like exchange-based individual QHP enrollments, there's no reason why these shouldn't be included in every regular exchange enrollment report, and several of the state-based exchanges do just that...although in some cases, even that's a bit fuzzy. For instance:

The Massachusetts Health Connector held their monthly board meeting last week and have released their September dashboard report with a whole mess of demographic data for Baystate-obsessed nerds to revel in.

I've pasted screen shots of every page of the report below, but here's the main takeaways:

The Massachusetts Health Connector just held their monthly board meeting this morning, and have released the August dashboard report with a whole mess of demographic data for Baystate-obsessed nerds to revel in.

I've pasted screen shots of every page of the report below, but here's the main takeaways:

YES, I KNOW ABOUT THE BIG CMS OFF-SEASON QHP REPORT released a couple of hours ago, and I'll be posting about that next, but I just got back from an end-of-summer camp carnival thing with my kid, and want to make sure I get Massachusetts crossed off the list first.

The Massachusetts Health Connector just held their monthly board meeting this morning, and have released the July dashboard report with a whole mess of demographic data for Baystate-obsessed nerds to revel in.

I've pasted screen shots of every page of the report below (and there's a link to the PDF version above), but here's the main takeaways:

Whoa, Nelly! Ask and ye shall receive...I was just sent a copy of the June report from the Massachusetts Health Connector, and there's some fasinating healthcare data nerd stuff included.

I've pasted screen shots of every page of the report below (and there's a link to the PDF version at the bottom), but here's the main takeaways: