Online Obamacare Enrollment for Small Business Delayed. Again.

SHOPNot that it’s a huge frigging
surprise, but small business online enrollment in Affordable Care
Act-compliant health insurance, which was already
delayed from October 1 until December 1
, will be pushed back a
full year, until November of 2014. Like a floundering big budget
movie production announcing just before the Fourth of July weekend
that a few scenes have to be reshot, so the resulting mess should
be hitting screens…eventually, the Obama administration rolled
out this particular turkey the day before Thanksgiving.

According to David Morgan at

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a one-year delay
in online health insurance enrollment for small businesses with 50
or fewer full-time workers that could qualify for subsidized
coverage under Obamacare.

It was the latest in a series of delays that have diminished the
scope President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law, the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act. The administration has faced
implementation challenges before and since the troubled October 1
rollout of the federal website

Robert Pear of the New York Times, perhaps growing a
bit justifiably cynical,
points out
, “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

Actually, if you go to the small business
of, the site tantalizingly announces
that “The SHOP Marketplace is open for business!” Not so much. If
you click on “apply” you’re prompted to pick your state, before
being instructed, “You enroll in SHOP coverage directly through an
agent, broker, or insurance company.”

That’s helpful.

No matter how it’s done, expect a good bit of insurance shopping
to become necessary, since the Department of Health and Human
Services itself
estimated in 2010
that 49 to 80 percent of small employer
(under 100 workers) plans, which cover 43 million people, would
lose their grandfathered status. That would require the sort of

cancellation notifications
that have raised so many eyebrows,
and blood pressures, in recent weeks among individuals. Unless the
president once more
unilaterally orders the temporary suspension
of the
requirements of the law that he himself championed.

from Hit & Run

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