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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Obama Admin Delays Employer Mandate One Year For Small Businesses

#ObamacareDelay

 

OBAMACARE MANDATE IS DELAYED FOR SMALL BUSINESSES JUST AS IT WAS TWO MONTHS AGO FOR BIG BUSINESSES!!

IS THIS ABOUT HOBBY LOBBY'S SCOTUS CHALLENGE??

WHAT ABOUT INDIVIDUAL AMERICAN CITIZENS??

 

ARTICLE: "Online Health Law Sign-Up Is Delayed For Small Business"

 

The Obama administration is expected to announce on Wednesday a one-year delay in another major element of the new health care law, which allows small businesses to go online and get insurance for their employees through the website of the federal marketplace.

“We plan to offer online enrollment capability by November 2014, for coverage that takes effect in January 2015,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a series of questions and answers.

The administration had previously delayed online enrollment for small businesses, scheduled to start on Oct. 1, until the end of this month.

This insurance marketplace — known as the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP — was seen as one of the main benefits of the new law.

The announcement of the delay, just before Thanksgiving, is reminiscent of the way the White House announced, just before the Independence Day weekend, a one-year delay in the requirement for larger employers to offer health insurance to employees.

The new delay results, in part, from the well-documented woes of the federal marketplace. Administration officials said they had to focus on repairing the basic functions of the website and were not able to address issues related to the small-business exchange.

John C. Arensmeyer, the chief executive of Small Business Majority, an advocacy group, said, “It’s disappointing that the online portion of the federal small-business marketplace through HealthCare.gov will be delayed, and it’s important it get up and running as soon as possible.”

The marketplace, he said, “is still the most important provision in the Affordable Care Act for small businesses,” as it can offer “the most competitive combination of price and quality.”

For years, small businesses have had difficulty getting insurance they can afford. As a result, small businesses have been less likely than larger companies to provide coverage to employees.

In a document explaining its plans, the administration said: “Employers can’t apply for SHOP eligibility or enroll in SHOP coverage on HealthCare.gov at this time. However, they can go to HealthCare.gov to view plan and pricing information to help them choose a plan and insurance company.”

The administration said that small businesses and their employees seeking coverage in the federal exchange could still apply for insurance and enroll through an agent or broker, as many do now.

“Agents and brokers are essential to making this happen,” an administration official said.

However, the high-tech capability once promised by the White House will not be available at this time.

“The agent, broker or insurer will help the employer fill out a paper application for SHOP eligibility and send it in to the SHOP marketplace,” the administration said.

The insurer can also tell employers what premiums they would have to pay and can enroll employees.

 

Source:  NY Times

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