RELEASE: SHOPping Around—A Roadmap to Health Insurance Exchanges Emerging in the States

Washington, D.C. — As deadlines for federal regulations near, Small Business Majority and the Center for American Progress released a report on July 6 that provides a roadmap for states, policymakers, health care reform advocates, and small-business leaders as they begin to create competitive health insurance markets called “exchanges,” required by the Affordable Care Act. The paper’s authors, Terry Gardiner and Isabel Perera, examine the larger implementation process and its challenges—as well as examples of existing public and private exchanges for small employers, exploring best practices for other states as they begin the process.

“The exchange is the most important component of health care reform for small businesses and it’s critical states set them up correctly so small businesses get the relief a strong exchange can provide,” said Terry Gardiner, vice president of policy and strategy for Small Business Majority. “This roadmap gives lawmakers something they can follow to ensure they implement an exchange that will significantly lower small-business owners’ premiums and give them more options for high-quality health insurance.”

The Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress and signed into law last year, is tailored to help small businesses access an array of affordable, high-quality health insurance plans for themselves and their employees. Small Business Health Options Programs, or “SHOP exchanges,” will allow small businesses to band together and pool their buying power so they can purchase high-quality insurance at lower rates.

“We believe the recommendations in this report will help states begin to design exchanges that suit their unique small-business populations, so that these insurance supermarkets are ready for the 50 percent of uninsured Americans who are part of the small-business community and eager to access health benefits for their employees,” said Perera.

The roadmap highlights three basic principles policymakers will need to consider when creating an exchange:

  • Knowing the state’s small-business market
  • Shooting for maximum participation
  • Paying attention to cost concerns

To access the full report, click here.

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About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority is a national nonpartisan organization focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with small-business owners, policy experts, and elected officials nationwide to bring small business voices to the public policy table. www.smallbusinessmajority.org