Making California’s new healthcare exchange work for small businesses
Health insurance exchanges are the most important component of healthcare reform for small businesses. These marketplaces will allow small businesses and individuals to band together to purchase insurance, which will lower their healthcare costs and allow more of them and their employees to get quality healthcare coverage.
On February 6, 2012, Small Business Majority released "Making California's new healthcare exchange work for small businesses," a report detailing our three-part SHOP forum series in Sacramento. Health insurance exchanges—and the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) in particular—are the most important element of healthcare reform for small businesses.
Successes and failures of past state exchange models have shown that it takes time and consideration to build them well. To help facilitate the SHOP design process, we hosted discussion forums in Sacramento during October, November and January. At each forum, a panel of experts spoke to business advocates, government staff, brokers and other stakeholders about major aspects to consider when setting up an exchange that can work for California small businesses. The three topics discussed were: providing insurance at an appealing rate, providing valuable services to small businesses and constructing a successful marketing and outreach strategy. Our subsequent recommendations on how to create a robust exchange can be found in the report.