Under the Affordable Care Act, open enrollment for the individual health exchanges, or HEXs, begins Oct. 1, 2013. The outlook for the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOPs, through which small employers may buy health insurance is a bit more complicated. Here’s where things stand.
Health insurance exchanges
As envisioned by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), individuals will be able to buy health insurance policies through the HEXs. States may create their own HEXs, and may create SHOPs. Alternatively, states may partner with the HHS, or just let the HHS carry the full freight. To date, 18 states will run their own HEXs, seven states will work in partnership with the HHS and 26 are undecided or will let the HHS run the show.
Health insurers, with help from the HEXs, will determine whether individuals are eligible for premium tax credits or other cost-sharing reductions, and how much. However, in or...(register to read more)