SHOP Plans Under Health Care Reform

Healthcare reform continues to evolve and we have yet another acronym to learn:  A SHOP which stands for a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).

No, it’s not your local mechanic, a beauty salon or your 8th grade building trades class – it’s another healthcare option available to small employers beginning January 1, 2014.

SHOP’s an integral part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), were supposed to be robust and offer small employers many healthcare options to consider, have now been watered down extensively as the current administration focuses their attention and resources to the Federal Individual Exchange which has been promised for 2014.

Small employers will have many health insurance options to consider next year which will include the following:

  • Continue with your current plan and carrier but understand plans will change to conform with the ACA requirements with next years’ renewal
  • Compare your current plan and benefits to other carriers who participate in the private market
  • Compare your current plan, costs, and benefits to the new SHOP options in your state
  • Possibly leverage the new Federal Individual Exchange market, get out of the health insurance business and incorporate a Defined Contribution strategy.  This option only works if a majority of your employees qualify for an Advanced Premium Tax Subsidy.
  • Compare the costs of a self-funded health insurance option.

We expect this market to grow and may create a long-term strategy for many. We recommend that each small employer create a strategy for healthcare reform and not wait until the end of the year to review your options.  Healthcare reform will affect everyone regardless of the size of your company, and since the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate to purchase health insurance- ACA will affect every U.S. citizen.  For more information regarding the SHOP plan or healthcare reform in general, please do not hesitate to give me a call.


Burman S. Clark, RHU,CSA

Burman S. Clark

Burman S. Clark, RHU, CSA is the President of Muneris Benefits and a licensed insurance broker and consultant. His independent practice and focuses on employee benefits, individual life, disability, medical, and senior products. Burman has traveled extensively and provided guidance to large employer associations with regards to the Affordable Care Act.