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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Small Business Health Plan Website Delayed Until November 2014

. . . Oh My, Did they know this was after the Elections? Of course, they did!

 by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: UPDATE: The process really won't get better anytime soon. Politico reports that the federally-run SHOP Marketplace website will be delayed until November 2014:“We’ve concluded that we can best serve small employers by continuing this offline process while we concentrate on both creating a smoothly functioning online experience in the SHOP Marketplace, and adding key new features, including an employee choice option and premium aggregation services, by November 2014,” according to an HHS notice issued a day before the long Thanksgiving weekend. Those features give workers more choice of health plans, rather than having the business owner choose it.

The administration originally delayed online enrollment in the federal-run small business exchanges just days before the failed Oct. 1 launch of HealthCare.gov. At the time, HHS said online enrollment would be available “sometime in November.” Weeks ago, administration officials said online enrollment would be ready by the end of this November.
In a blog post, the Department of Health and Human Services explains how small businesses can buy health plans for their employees without a functioning website:For small businesses in states with a SHOP Marketplace that’s run by the federal government, we are making changes to make sure that you can take advantage of SHOP coverage and the tax credit as soon as possible. Specifically, for 2014, small employers will enroll their employees in coverage through an agent, broker, or insurer that offers a certified SHOP plan and has agreed to conduct enrollment according to HHS standards.

This process, called “direct enrollment,” is similar to how most small employers get insurance today. You don’t need to apply for SHOP eligibility before enrolling, or to use HealthCare.gov, unless you’d like to see information on your plan options, including which insurance companies offer SHOP Qualified Health Plans in your area.
The post also notes that the enrollment period to begin coverage on January 1, 2014 has been extended to December 23.
------------
Sean Hackbarth is a blogger at Free Enterprise and does policy advocacy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service.

Tags: Obamacare, small business, healthcare plans, delayed until, November 2013, Sean Hackbarth, Free Enterprise To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 3:47 PM - Post Link

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