Early 2014 Stakeholder Experiences With Small-Business Marketplaces in Eight States

This report details early experiences in state Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplaces and reasons for low enrollment during the first year. From interviews with insiders from eight states, researchers conclude that employer participation was low due to a number of factors, most notably that many states spent the majority of their energy on the individual marketplaces.

Researchers also found other barriers to enrollment:

  • Federal government delayed its Small Business Health Options Program
  • Limited reach of tax credits
  • Low number of brokers/agents steering their clients to SHOP plans
  • IT problems

However, the authors note that many of the issues limiting first year enrollment can be addressed in the future.

This analysis is based on case study interviews in: Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island.