While individual enrollment in the non-group health insurance exchanges exceeded expectations for the 2014 open enrollment period, enrollment of employers in the small group marketplaces has remained stagnant. Industry stakeholders, including benefit advisers and employers, say a host of challenges is not only to blame, but must be overcome if the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is to enjoy any success.

Specifically, advisers and other stakeholders in eight states told The Urban Institute they felt SHOP had not yet been made a priority either at the state or national level, an impetus for many of the marketplace’s challenges.

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