Public health insurance exchange managers outside California and Hawaii may not be having much luck using the individual market nap period to focus on small-group coverage sales. Reports on Small Business Options Program (SHOP) sales are scarce, but, in most of the states that do release SHOP numbers, the numbers look small.
Regulators, insurers and exchange managers developed an "open enrollment period" system for the individual qualified health plan (QHP) market to try to keep consumers from waiting until they get sick to pay for coverage. The open enrollment period for individual QHP shoppers started Oct. 1 and straggled to an end sometime between March 31 and mid-April in most states. Consumers who want to apply for individual QHP coverage today have to qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP).