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Health law business insurance website delayed 1 year

By Carla K. Johnson

AP Medical Writer

LAST UPDATED: 12:40 p.m. HST, Nov 27, 2013

CHICAGO » President Barack Obama's administration is delaying yet another aspect of the health care law. An online health insurance marketplace for small businesses is being put off until November 2014 to make sure the HealthCare.gov website gets fixed first.

In a conference call with reporters, administration officials said employers who want to buy marketplace plans for their workers now will need to go through an agent, broker or insurance company to buy coverage this year, instead of using a government website. The administration says the plan will still allow small businesses to buy coverage but avoid slowing technical repairs to the hobbled federal online site.

The small business marketplace, also called SHOP, was supposed to provide employers a new way to shop for coverage, and the delay was met with frustration.

"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," said John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, an advocacy group. "However, it doesn't change the fact that the marketplace can offer the most competitive combination of price and quality for small businesses purchasing health insurance."

Small businesses buying coverage will still be eligible for tax credits to bring down the cost, according an administration memo.

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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entrkn wrote:
My suggestion: Fire all the bimbo and bozo "friends" and go out and hire real Pros...
on November 27,2013 | 09:13AM
palani wrote:
Wouldn't work unless immunity in advance of the crime were granted to all those participating in the dismantling our our healthcare system, once the envy of the world.
on November 27,2013 | 09:31AM
serious wrote:
Agreed, palani, isn't this what the Tea Party Republicans asked for ????? We had a good system until it was Obamed!!!
on November 27,2013 | 12:44PM
menloboy wrote:
Doesn't have anything to do with the election and 80 million insurance cancellations...
on November 27,2013 | 09:16AM
palani wrote:
November 14, 2014? How convenient!
on November 27,2013 | 09:26AM
South76 wrote:
Yup, all these delay tactics are for political reasons and incompetence. He is desperate to keep the Demon-c-r-a-t Senators in red states to get reelected so his signature tax law is kept intact. Desperate measures for desperate times, how lame....
on November 27,2013 | 10:02AM
South76- and I suppose you're a birther as well? You do realize there is currently a 2-term limit for Prez? how lame is right! Better yet, pathetic.
on November 27,2013 | 02:03PM
richierich wrote:
Yes my Obama sticker makes me feel stupid.
on November 27,2013 | 10:31AM
Graham wrote:
You and the millions who voted for him...twice...
on November 27,2013 | 10:47AM
richierich wrote:
I only voted for Obama once. I voted for Mitt Romney the second time around. That was more a vote against Obama than a vote for Romney.
on November 27,2013 | 02:10PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Richierich, drop the "feel" from your comment and you will be right on target.
on November 27,2013 | 12:42PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Good grief, just dump the whole thing and sit down with the Republicans to do right for America. This has gotten ridiculous.
on November 27,2013 | 11:04AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
That photo shot says it all!
on November 27,2013 | 11:10AM
cojef wrote:
A picture is better than a thousand word, or similar words were expounded by a famous oriental philosopher/scholar.
on November 27,2013 | 01:31PM
inlanikai wrote:
So hours before the start of a 4 day weekend, while the President is pardoning two turkeys, we get this news. How long have they known about it? So, they want to encourage small businesses who don't offer insurance to do so by giving them an Exchange to grease the skids. Now, they have to wait a year. And the Spanish language site isn't up yet either. When will that bombshell drop? Christmas Eve? Anyone who thinks big government can take on the task that private industry has been doing longer and better should take a lesson from this website fiasco. Nothing against the concept of getting more people insured and on more reasonable terms, but this is a disastrous execution. At least the turkeys got a break.
on November 27,2013 | 12:32PM
cojef wrote:
Yep, and the taxpayers got hoodwinked!
on November 27,2013 | 01:33PM
Ronin006 wrote:
The small business health insurance mandate is being delayed until November 2014 in an attempt to keep Democrats from getting slaughtered in the November 2014 election.
on November 27,2013 | 12:39PM
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