California: SHOP hits 5,690 enrollees but shuts down until this fall

Hat Tip To: 
deaconblues, Happy Voter

With all the focus on fixing the problems with the individual/group healthcare exchanges, there's been far less attention paid to the more-troubled SHOP (Small Business) exchanges. The administration had already announced that the HC.gov version (covering 34 states*) wouldn't be launched at all until this fall, and 2 of the state-run exchanges (Oregon and Maryland) recently announced that they'd be offline until well after the end of the March enrollment period as well.

Today, Covered California announced that while their SHOP exchange has been operational (with a small number of enrollments to date), they're shutting it down until this fall as well. This leaves 14.5 state-run SHOP exchanges in operation (and yes, that's 14.5, not 15...Washington State's SHOP is only running in 2 counties at the moment).

Still, the press release does give a slight bump in CA's SHOP enrollment before they stop taking new signups: 4,490 individuals covered, plus another 1,200 being processed, for a total of 5,690. That's where it'll stay through the end of the March enrollment period unless they reverse themselves between now and then.

*Utah and New Mexico are unique; HC.gov runs both of their individual/group exchanges, but the SHOP system is run at the state level.

In response to requests for modifications and enhancements to the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) portal, Covered California™ announced today that it is suspending this component of SHOP to implement a series of redesigns. Meanwhile, enrollment in SHOP will continue via the industry standard process of using paper applications. ...

The online portal for SHOP enrollment will go offline today, Feb. 12, and is projected to be back online in the fall of 2014. Small-business owners can continue enrolling in SHOP by calling the SHOP Service Center or working with a Certified Insurance Agent. ...

As of Jan. 31, 2014, 571 groups were enrolled in Covered California’s SHOP, representing 4,490 individuals. SHOP is currently processing an additional 200 group applications, representing 1,200 individuals. Small businesses can enroll in SHOP plans year round