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In Latest Move To Roll Back Health Law, Administration Dismantles Small-Business Marketplace

Relatively few people will actually be affected by the decision, but it shows the direction in which the administration wants to go.

The Washington Post:
Trump Administration To Dismantle Small-Business Part Of ACA Marketplaces

The Trump administration said Monday that it will dismantle part of the Affordable Care Act that created online insurance marketplaces for small businesses and tried to foster a greater choice of health plans for their workers. Moving to end the ACA’s small-business enrollment system by 2018 represents the first public step by the Health and Human Services Department to implement an executive order President Trump signed his first night in office, directing agencies to ease regulatory burdens of the health-care law. (Goldstein, 5/15)

The Wall Street Journal:
White House Closes A Health-Care Enrollment Option

Under the ACA, employers with as many as 50 workers could sign up for small-group plans through the Small Business Health Options Program, often called SHOP, where some employers could qualify for tax credits to lower premiums. As the exchange was originally envisioned, small employers could use the platform to make contributions to their employees’ health coverage, allowing workers to pick which plans they preferred. But the health law’s small-business tax credits proved insufficient to attract a large number of employers to the SHOP exchange, and most small-business owners shunned the federally run marketplaces in favor of working with private brokers. (Hackman, 5/15)

Modern Healthcare:
Trump Administration Seeks To End HealthCare.Gov Enrollment For Small Companies

“Our goal is to reduce ACA burdens on consumers and small businesses and make it easier for them to purchase coverage,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement Monday. “This new direction will help employers find affordable healthcare coverage for their employees and make the SHOP exchanges function more effectively.” (Dickson, 5/15)

The Hill:
White House Will Let Small Businesses Circumvent Healthcare.Gov

About 85,000 people from 11,000 small businesses are covered under the SHOP exchanges, though millions more were expected to participate when the program launched. (Hellmann, 5/15)

Morning Consult:
CMS To Let Small Businesses Bypass Obamacare Marketplace

Firms could still be eligible to utilize the 2010 law’s Small Business Tax Credit, even if the plan was obtained outside the SHOP marketplaces, said Sabrina Corlette, a professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. “What the feds are trying to do here is say: ‘Even though there’s no real SHOP because we can’t get any carriers to participate, you can still get the small business tax credit,’” she said in a phone interview. (Reid, 5/15)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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