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Health insurance exchanges move forward: Small businesses get another tool for affordable coverage

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Health insurance exchanges move forward: Small businesses get another tool for affordable coverage

By Karen Mills, Former SBA Administrator
Published: July 12, 2011 Updated: July 12, 2011

This week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a major step forward in helping small businesses benefit from more “competition, choice, and clout” when they shop for health insurance coverage for their employees. 

As part of the new health care law that the President signed, the new “exchanges” will make it easier for small business owners to shop around for an affordable plan that meets their needs.  With today’s announcement, each U.S. state now has guidance on how to set up those exchanges in the best way possible, answering tough questions like:

  • How do we certify plans to participate in the exchange?
  • How do we make sure that premiums stay stable for plans and enrollees as the exchanges start to roll out in 2014?
  • How can the new Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOPs) in the exchange give small business owners and their employees more flexibility and choices?

Overall, these new exchanges will give small businesses more muscle in negotiating a fairer deal from insurance companies, which is important because small employers have historically paid up to 18 percent more than large firms for comparable coverage.

For more information on the exchanges, go here.  And for specific information on how this will help small businesses, in particular, go here.

About the Author:

Karen Mills

Former SBA Administrator

Karen Gordon Mills is the Former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA helps both Main Street and high-growth small businesses get access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, disaster assistance and more.

Comments:

So basically, these exchanges roll out in 2014 and because theres more companies providing health insurance to small businesses it will be cheaper?
Healthcare insurance at affordable prices is a must for small businesses when you consider how many people all of the small businesses combined employ across the US. Opting out is simply not an option.
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