On February 6, 2012, Small Business Majority released “Making California’s new healthcare exchange work for small businesses,” a report detailing our three-part SHOP forum series in Sacramento. Health insurance exchanges—and the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) in particular—are the most important element of healthcare reform for small businesses.
Successes and failures of past state exchange models have shown that it takes time and consideration to build them well. To help facilitate the SHOP design process, we hosted discussion forums in Sacramento during October, November and January. At each forum, a panel of experts spoke to business advocates, government staff, brokers and other stakeholders about major aspects to consider when setting up an exchange that can work for California small businesses. The three topics discussed were: providing insurance at an appealing rate, providing valuable services to small businesses and constructing a successful marketing and outreach strategy. Our subsequent recommendations on how to create a robust exchange can be found in the report.
|February 6, 2012 – Small Business Majority|
Forum No. 1—Providing Excellent Insurance at an Appealing Rate
Date: October 14, 2011
The California Health Benefit Exchange is an active purchaser, meaning it must provide a range of plans offering different services at various cost points while attracting enough insurers to create a competitive marketplace. This forum will discuss how both needs can be met.
Forum No. 2—Providing Valuable Services to Small Businesses
Date: November 16, 2011
The SHOP exchange must be attractive to small business owners and distinguished from the outside market —that means a simple one-stop operation that offers services that save employers time and boost their efficiency, while providing an excellent user experience.
Forum No. 3—A Successful Marketing and Outreach Strategy
Date: January 11, 2012
A successful launch of the exchange and its website are crucial to its success. Other exchanges that had a poor launch never recovered. We must do our homework and be prepared to make a splash right away or sink like a stone.