Lack of health insurance options frustrates small businesses
Next year Washington — with the exception of two counties bordering Oregon — will be the only state without a Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP. That means the vast majority of the state's small employers won't have a shot at federal tax credits that, under the Affordable Care Act, reduce the cost of health insurance for their employees. At the same time, eight insurance companies in the Washington Healthplanfinder exchange are selling dozens of plans in the individual insurance market. Only one, Kaiser Permanente, stepped up to sell health insurance on the small-business exchange, and only in Clark and Cowlitz counties.
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