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The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and human resources and  investment management.



Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to be amongst the nation's premier ERISA and employee benefits law firms. The firm has six offices across the country, providing unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's 27 attorneys, senior benefits consultant and three paralegals combine many years of experience in their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds. Seven of the attorneys are AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and six are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.  Seven of the firm's attorneys have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for 2016, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process.




Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence



Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110


Washington, D.C.

Tel: (202) 969-2800

  Fax: (202) 969-2568

800 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

Suite 810

Washington, D.C. 20006


Palm Beach Gardens 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418



Tel: (813) 603-2959

Fax: (813) 603-2961

101 East Kennedy Boulevard

Suite 2140
Tampa, FL  33602 


San Francisco

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

300 Montgomery Street

Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104


St. Louis

Tel: (314) 236-0065

Fax: (314) 236-5743
25 W. Moody Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63119







July 7, 2017


 Health and Welfare Law Alert




 CMS Proposes Change in Small Employer Enrollment Procedure




The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") has proposed a change in the method used by small businesses and their employees to enroll in insurance coverage through the Federal Marketplaces. CMS says that this change may "offer employers the help they need to find affordable insurance for their employees."


The ACA provides that small businesses can purchase qualified health plans ("QHPs") through federal or state-level Health Care Exchanges The ACA further provides that each Exchange will include a Small Business Health Options Program ("SHOP") component to allow small employers with 50 or fewer employees to purchase QHPs for their employees.


However, the SHOPs are unpopular. Of the nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States, less than 8,000, (or just 0.1 percent of all small businesses) currently participate in the SHOPs, and these only cover about 40,000 individuals nationwide.


CMS says it will be exploring a "more efficient implementation of the Federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplaces in order to promote insurance company and agent/broker participation and make it easier for small employers to offer SHOP plans to their employees", while maintaining access to the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. Beginning in January 2018, instead of enrolling online at HealthCare.gov (as is currently required), employers would enroll directly with an insurance company offering SHOP plans, or with the assistance of an agent or broker registered with the Federally-facilitated SHOP. However, employers would still obtain a determination of eligibility by going to HealthCare.gov.


Under the proposal, employers that have enrolled in SHOP coverage for plan years that begin in 2017 would be able to continue using HealthCare.gov in 2018 for enrollment and premium payment, until their current plan year ends. CMS anticipates that State-based SHOP Marketplaces would be able to provide for online enrollment, or could opt to direct small employers to insurance companies and SHOP-registered agents and brokers so that the employers may directly enroll in SHOP plans.


CMS also noted that State-based SHOPs not using HealthCare.gov could continue to operate as they have previously done.






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This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.