Covered California Delays Announcement of SHOP Plans for 2015

Don’t look for an announcement Monday about which health plans will participate next year in Covered California’s Small Employer Health Options Program — better known as SHOP.

Although executive director Peter Lee said at a board meeting in August that the SHOP line-up would be announced Sept. 15, the date has shifted, says Covered California spokesman Dana Howard.

“There’s not a big reason why, we just want everything in order,” Howard said Thursday. “We’re thinking Tuesday, but there’s no statute on this — and we’d like to get this done the way we want it to take place. It could be Wednesday.”

There’s no set period of open enrollment for SHOP as there is for the individual marketplace. That period will run from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15, 2015. Small business owners can sign up for SHOP at any time of the year, although the new line-up will take effect Jan. 1. It’s unclear whether it will change for business owners in the Sacramento region — or, if it does, by how much.

A total of 1,714 small employers with 11,510 employees and dependents were enrolled in SHOP as of Aug. 1.

Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of California, Health Net and Western Health Advantage are currently available to small employers in the Sacramento region who buy coverage through the program.

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