The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services intends to propose rulemaking that would change how small employers enroll in the federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2018. Instead of enrolling online at, employers would enroll directly with an insurance company offering SHOP plans, or through an agent or broker registered with the federally-facilitated SHOP. They would still obtain a determination of eligibility by going to, and employers who are currently enrolled via the SHOP could continue to use for enrollment and premium payment until their current plan year ends, CMS said. “This new direction will help employers find affordable health care coverage for their employees and make the SHOP exchanges function more effectively,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma, noting that only 0.1% of small businesses currently participate in the federally-facilitated SHOPs in 33 states.