Delay in SHOP Online Enrollment for Many Small Businesses

The Obama administration is delaying online enrollment for many small businesses. Businesses under 50 participating in states where the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is federally governed will have to wait until November 1 to submit their applications online. They’ll still be able to browse options and submit their application in hard copy; they just won’t be able to submit the application electronically until November 1. Individuals will continue to be able to enroll online on October 1.

Both delays are not ideal for the Obama administration, but officials continue to point out that coverage and enrollment will not be delayed, and that individuals will be enrolled as they would have by January 1.Although the delay shouldn’t affect enrollment by January 1, it is likely to fuel on-going political debates over whether or not the law itself is sound enough to launch this year. To add to the mix, the Obama administration also announced on Wednesday that the Spanish version of the healthcare.gov website wouldn’t be ready for several more weeks, so enrollment for Spanish-speaking individuals would be delayed.

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