NJBIA News: Early Access to Federal Exchange for NJ Small Employers

New Jersey small businesses will have early access to the federal small employer health options program (SHOP) according to an announcement by federal health officials. The SHOP is an exchange or portal that small businesses can use to shop for health insurance coverage.


New Jersey is one of just five states to have early access to the SHOP in late October. The other states include: Delaware, Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri.


Early access means that businesses will be able to go to the site to create a business account, select a broker, check eligibility and upload employee information. Plan and premium information will not be available until mid-November so the early access will have limited utility for small businesses. Open enrollment is scheduled to begin November 15 for the SHOP exchange and the New Jersey Small Employer Market.


Last year, enrollment and payment was not available for small employers through Instead employers were forced to use paper application forms.


Earlier this year, federal officials offered states the opportunity to delay for a year the “employee choice” feature, which New Jersey opted to delay. This means small employers can choose only one plan to cover all of their employees.

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