FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Hill
Board Member-Media Relations
October 20, 2014
MOAHU President, Emily Bremer, has been invited to attend a forum to discuss the SHOP distribution channel and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in general. Emily will be one of several Association brokers in attendance, she will be highlighting some of the real world experiences individuals and businesses have experienced in trying to acquire insurance coverage.
The Obama Administration is looking for a way to improve the low participation in the SHOP across the country. In Missouri, only Anthem has decided to make options available to employers that wish to participate in SHOP. SHOP was designed to offer small employers access to tax credits and encourage the purchase of health insurance for low paid employees. The intent was for SHOP to perform the same function as the Marketplace does for individuals trying to buy affordable coverage.
When PPACA was passed in 2010, small companies could qualify for a tax credit by completing a long report detailing the number of employees and their salaries. Many small businesses could not qualify for the credit financially or the owner found the reporting process too difficult for the time invested. In 2015, the only way for a small business to obtain the tax credit is by purchasing coverage through SHOP. This distribution channel could make it easier to receive the tax credit but lack of options may keep small businesses away. This could be a critical hurdle to the success of SHOP. Further compounding the problem is the fact that many of those small business are experiencing rate increases which are greater than the tax credit encouraging small business to drop their group health plan altogether.
The drafters of PPACA did not take into consideration that small businesses purchasing health insurance coverage normally require the assistance of a professional familiar with a myriad of laws and economic risks which impact the purchase. In order for SHOP to succeed, it must reach a critical mass of participation if it is to remain financially viable and the only way to achieve that critical mass is to engage agents and brokers in the process.
MOAHU welcomes the opportunity to speak with Administration representatives to work towards ensuring all Americans have access to insurance protection at a price they can afford. Emily Bremer will give valuable insight from brokers around the country on how to accomplish those goals by utilizing agents and brokers in the market to effectively distribute the knowledge and coverage needed.
The Missouri Association of Health Underwriters is a local chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters and represents more than 100,000 professional health insurance agents and brokers who provide insurance advice for millions of Americans.