Health Law Consulting Blog

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Small Business Health Options Program One Year Delay

As discussed in earlier blog posts, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees (Small Employers) to offer health insurance to their employees.  However, the ACA provides financial incentives for some Small Employers that decide to offer their employees health insurance.

On-line enrollment through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) will not be available to Small Employers now until November 2014.  The SHOP Exchange (or Marketplace) was originally scheduled to go live on October 1, 2013, with the individual marketplace.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), previously pushed back the date to November 1, 2013, but last week announced a further delay of one year.  Small Employers, however, will be able to review plan options in the SHOP, but enrollment will continue to have to be done using an agent, broker or insurance company.  Therefore, if Small Employers wish to make SHOP health insurance coverage effective for employees on January 1, 2014, they also must enroll by December 23, 2013 (extended from the original enrollment date of December 15, 2013).

Stay tuned for more updates on SHOP and the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.


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