Graves requests info on state, federal SHOP exchanges

House Small Business Committee Chairman Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) requested information on Wednesday regarding the Small Business Health Options Program from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Graves asked for enrollment data for federal and state SHOP exchanges that were established under the Affordable Care Act.

“…Many features of the SHOP exchanges have been delayed,” Graves said in a letter to Sebelius. “Small businesses are currently not able to shop for, select and enroll in health insurance plans in the online SHOP exchanges. As chairman of the Committee on Small Business, I continue to be concerned about the ongoing misinformation, problems and delays that are affecting small business owners as the healthcare law is implemented.”

The Obama Administration announced that the employer health insurance choice on the federal SHOP exchanges would be delayed until 2015, which limits employers to just one plan option.

Since Oct. 1, small business owners have been able to apply for coverage through paper applications, a broker or directly through an insurer.

“I am writing to request enrollment data for the federal and state SHOP exchanges to date,” Graves said. “Specifically, I am interested in the numbers of small businesses and the number of employees in each state who have enrolled and paid at least their first premium. If you do not have the numbers for those who have paid at least their first premium, please provide the numbers of small businesses and employees who have enrolled in the federal and in each state exchange. Please also provide the date by which you anticipate federal and state SHOP online enrollment to be fully operational.”

Graves requested a response from Sebelius by Feb. 7.