The Department of Health and Human Services has yet to release any data on the number of small businesses that have enrolled in the Affordable Care Acts Small Business Health Options Program, angering lawmakers who have been prodding the agency for answers.
House Small Business Committee Chairman Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) in a Jan. 30 letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, asked the agency to update Congress about the SHOP enrollment numbers by Feb. 7. But Graves said Monday he has yet to receive a response.
For more on brokers experiences with SHOP see: http://eba.benefitnews.com/news/shop-is-a-flop-for-brokers-across-the-nation-2739176-1.html
For more on state-run SHOP enrollment see: http://eba.benefitnews.com/news/aca-shop-enrollment-lagging-behind-goals-2738694-1.html
On Wednesday, HHS said 3.3 million people had enrolled in private health plans offered through the ACAs insurance exchanges, but the agency hasnt released any information about enrollment via the SHOP exchange run by the federal government, Graves complains.
Sebelius says she has received Graves letter and HHS will respond directly to the Small Business Committee.
But, on background from another HHS official, the agency doesnt anticipate having SHOP enrollment data until later this year.
Because the federal SHOP enrollment process is not automated online through Healthcare.gov, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services wont generate the enrollment data itself, but will instead collect enrollment information from insurance companies.
The process of collecting that data from the insurance companies is still being finalized, according to the official.
On Nov. 27 HHS announced that online enrollment for the 34 states with a federally run SHOP exchange would not be available until November 2014. In order to signup, small businesses need to go through an agent, broker or the insurer directly.
Graves asked Sebelius to provide Congress the number of small businesses and employees who have enrolled in the federal and each state exchange. He also asked to know how many of those enrolled have paid their first premium and when SHOP online enrollment will be fully functional.
HHS will provide additional metrics when they are available, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman from the agency said.
The enrollment report released in January represents the most accurate snapshot of marketplace enrollment-related activity that is currently available, she added.
A copy of Graves letter to Sebelius can be read HERE.
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