On its website, CNBC (5/15, Mangan) reports that on Monday, the Trump Administration “proposed that beginning in 2018, small businesses would no longer be able to enroll workers in health insurance plans through the” ACA “marketplace HealthCare.gov.” CMS explained that it was taking this action due to low enrollment. Data show “there are fewer than 233,000 people covered via SHOP plans – far short of the 4 million people that the Congressional Budget Office in 2014 had predicted would be covered by this year.” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said, “Our goal is to reduce ACA burdens on consumers and small businesses and make it easier for them to purchase coverage.”
The Hill (5/15, Hellmann) reports that this change will become effective on January 1, 2018. The article also quotes Verma as saying, “The ACA has failed to provide affordable insurance to small business and to the American people. This new direction will help employers find affordable healthcare coverage for their employees and make the SHOP exchanges function more effectively.” The Wall Street Journal (5/15, Hackman, Subscription Publication) reports that some analysts saw the move as a largely symbolic indication of the Administration’s intent to scale back parts of the law.