What a difference a day makes. I should have waited until June 1st to write my laundry list of May regulatory actions. Here are the final SHOP regulations published today, Friday, May 31st.

“In the Exchange Establishment Rule, we also set forth the minimum functions of a
SHOP, including that the SHOP must allow employers the option to offer employees all QHPs at
a level of coverage chosen by the employer, and that the SHOP may allow employers to offer
one or more QHPs to qualified employees by other methods. We proposed and are now
finalizing the following transitional policy. For plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014
and before January 1, 2015, a SHOP will not be required to permit qualified employers to offer
their qualified employees a choice of QHPs at a single level of coverage, but will have the option
of doing so. Federally-facilitated SHOPs (FF-SHOPs) will not exercise this option, but will
instead allow employers to choose a single QHP from the choices available in FF-SHOP to offer
their qualified employees. This transitional policy is intended to provide additional time to
prepare for an employee choice model and to increase the stability of the small group market
while providing small groups with the benefits of SHOP in 2014 (such as a choice among
competing QHPs and access for qualifying small employers to the small business health care tax
credit). We also proposed changes to the effective date of the SHOP premium aggregation
function set forth at §155.705(b)(4) in the Exchange Establishment Rule consistent with this
transitional policy, which we are finalizing in this rule.” [DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 45 CFR Parts 155 and 156, CMS-9964 –F2, RIN 0938-AR76]

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