If you had to draw up a list of the five or six states that are likely to have a – relatively – successful launch of the health care exchanges (AKA marketplaces) this fall, Oregon would be one of them.
Gov. John Kitzhaber, a former emergency physician who has done a lot of work on health system delivery reform and quality improvement, is committed to the law’s success, as is much of the state’s political world. Oregon had already been experimenting with coverage expansion, in part through Medicaid. The state is running its own exchange and has already started outreach. On Twitter and online at least the opening ads have been a hit.
While most of the attention is on the individual exchanges, SHOP exchanges also will offer a place for small businesses to get coverage for their workers. Those with up to 50 workers can choose to cover them and certain small businesses may qualify for tax credits to subsidize coverage. Note – this voluntary. These small businesses do NOT have to cover workers, not now and not when the delayed employer mandate begins in January u 2015. Continue reading