Though promised by the healthcare reforms, it looks like there may be another year to wait.
Employees of small businesses may need to wait an extra year before they will be able to take advantage of the health insurance exchange that was promised to companies of that size, as the Obama administration has announced a delay in the implementation of an important provision to the Affordable Care Act.
These workers were supposed to have access to coverage through the marketplace as of January 2014.
This would have applied to small businesses that have 100 employees or less were supposed to be able to use the health insurance exchanges to be able to find medical coverage plans. Now, it looks as though this option will become available no earlier than 2015, according to the latest regulations release from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Until then, employees will need to choose their own coverage so that they’ll have their health insurance protection.
Workers in small companies will be faced with a situation that is comparable to what the majority of companies are offering, as they choose their own plans. Health insurance companies will still be selling the plans, but they will be competing for company client business instead of that of individual consumers.
According to the Small Business Majority chief executive officer, John Arensmeyer, this delay in the health insurance exchange for smaller companies is “a major letdown for small-business owners and their employees looking forward to robust, competitive exchanges in 2014.” Arensmeyer’s company is an advocacy group that is in support of the healthcare reforms.
As a result of “operational challenges”, the element of the program that has to do with an employee’s choice of health insurance will delayed. The regulatory statement from the government said that it had been listening to insurers and others in the industry that were concerned that the plans, firms, and brokers wouldn’t have enough time to adjust to the new exchanges.
Critics of the healthcare reforms are seeing this health insurance exchange postponement as just another reason to oppose the federal government’s new law.