Had a webinar earlier this week on how the small business (“SHOP”) exchange will work and what the rules are.  Very interesting.  Employers, as a general rules, will be able to:

–  Decide to offer more than one plan from more than one company

–  Pay different amounts for different plans (ie., Management, labor)

–  Control Eligibility, dental offerings, etc

ENROLLMENT PERIODS-  There will be three enrollment periods.  Open Enrollment begins the day you/we create a SHOP account, and ends the last day of the month at least 30 days prior to the effective date (for example, 5/7-5/31 for a July 1 effective date).  Employees must enroll in that period.   The second period is the “edit period” during which the employer can make corrections to enrollment, etc;  this runs until the effective date.  The third period runs the next 30 days and is called the Retroactive Period, where final changes can be made.

Employees, once the SHOP account is created, will receive an email from the exchange giving them access (yes- every employee needs an email address).

COBRA employees will show on the bill, but be listed seperately.

All plans run benefit year for deductibles, etc – not Calendar Year.