Because of time constraints in setting up the Federal insurance exchange called for in the Obama administration’s health care reform bill, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has decided to delay one aspect of the program.
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), is slated to begin enrollment in the fall of 2013 for January 1st, 2014. With the delay, the exchange will allow small businesses to choose only one plan to offer to their employees until 2015 when they will be able to offer a variety of insurance plans.
This delay in the SHOP only applies to the Federal exchange which is the insurance marketplace for states that opted not to develop their own exchanges or are partnering with the Federal government for their state exchange. State-run exchanges can proceed with implementation for January 1st, 2014 if they are able to meet the deadlines imposed by HHS.