The Affordable Care Act includes Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOP) exchanges, intended to provide administrative relief and affordable coverage options to small employers across the country. This paper provides an overview of SHOP exchange development in six states. The six state based exchanges studied are all intending to offer employee choice in 2014 and report an encouraging amount of carrier interest. Specific policy decisions in design tend to reflect prior state differences in small group markets. State contacts note that employer education is one of the major challenges they face, and outreach efforts to small businesses are just beginning.
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