SHOP Exchange Delayed One Year. The White House just announced that the online Small Business Health Marketplace also known as SHOP Exchange has been delayed until 2015. Small businesses will still have the option to purchase coverage through the new marketplace but will not be able to do so online. Instead, until next fall, employers with fewer than 50 workers will need to work through a broker or agent to buy health plans for their employees.
The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP Exchange, has already had a troubled launch with multiple delays as the Obama administration has focused much of its efforts on launching the individual insurance marketplace where Americans can shop for subsidized health insurance coverage.
Small businesses buying coverage will still be eligible for small business tax credits to bring down the cost, according an administration memo. Also, businesses can still purchase the same plans and same rates available on Off-Exchange. Medical Insurance premiums through the business is an ordinary tax deductible expense.
According to NY Times Article, Online Health Law Sign-Up Is Delayed for Small Business – “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 recent setback is the latest in a stream of missed deadlines, including a postponement for a Spanish language sign-up tool announced this week. The administration also recently pushed back the enrollment deadline for individuals: People who sign up by Dec. 23 can get coverage that starts on Jan. 1. In an earlier delay, businesses with more than 50 workers were given until 2015 to meet the requirement to provide health insurance without paying a penalty. And the deadline date for individuals to avoid penalties for failing to get coverage was pushed back six weeks.
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