Navigating Nashville’s Health Care Marketplace

November 14, 2016

Deciding which health insurance plan is right for your small business can be complicated and time consuming — but it doesn’t have to be. Zenefits teamed up with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Mayor’s Office to present a webinar on November 10th to help small businesses and entrepreneurs navigate the process.

While health care markets vary from state to state, Nashville is facing the same challenge seen across the country: insurers are leaving the marketplace, and costs are expected to significantly increase in 2017. UnitedHealthcare has decided to exit the Tennessee exchange, and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST), which covers 70 percent of Tennessee’s individual exchange enrollees, is pulling out of the Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville metro areas next year. With more than 40,000 businesses in the Nashville region alone, these changes have major implications for small business and the economy.

Zenefits’ VP of Carrier Relations Colin Rogers and Insurance Practice Lead Tim Cerimele (20-year veterans of the health insurance industry), described how these changes will affect Tennessee’s businesses, and offered small business or sole proprietors advice on getting their organizations squared away with health coverage in 2017.

Tennessee small businesses have three primary places where they can shop for health insurance:

  • The individual healthcare exchanges
  • The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplace; and
  • Commercial small group plans



Individuals and Families

Check out first. Open enrollment is underway and will run until December 15, 2016. Coverage will kick in on January 1, 2017, so get informed to ensure you don’t miss the deadline. Here are some factors to consider when picking a plan:


Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)

SHOP is available to businesses with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees, and where the average employee salary is less than $50,000. These offerings are more limited, but may be a good fit for your business. If you meet the requirements, determine if you qualify for the small business healthcare tax credit here.

Small Business Health Options Program

Commercial Small Group Market

The Commercial Small Group Market is increasingly attractive to small businesses, as more carriers are expressing interest. Moreover, small business employees are requesting their employers to provide this option, causing health care costs to climb. The diagram below outlines first steps to get you started:

TN Commercial Small Group Market

For more information on future Zenefits Compliance webinars, head over to our resource center to sign up for the next session here.

Looking for assistance in navigating today’s complex healthcare market? Zenefits’ team of experienced HR Advisors helps you find the best options for your business and ensure you are in compliance. Learn more about Zenefits new free HR Advisor here.


Tim Cerimele is co-founder of the Zenefits Insurance Advisory Board. He has 10 years of experience as a benefits consultant, manager, and director of operations at a national benefit firm. Recently, Tim has been focused on the ACA's impact, access to care behind new and unique health plan contracting and benefits technology.

Category: Compliance, Small Business Success Stories

You might also like