Affordable Care Act: Small Business Health Care Exchanges Delayed


Small business owners will have to wait at least until 2015 before they’ll be able to offer an array of health care plans to their employees.

In the latest development of the Affordable Care Act, the administration of President Barack Obama announced that it is going to have trouble meeting the 2014 deadline it established in allowing small business owners the ability to offer a variety of health care plans to their employees through small business health care exchanges.

The development is considered a major disappointment by at least one advocate for small businesses in the U.S. The ability to work in health care exchanges was one of the major selling points on Obamacare, Small Business Majority CEO John Arensmeyer told NPR. The exchanges were supposed to give employers the ability to offer a range of health care plans, but with the delay, small business owners will now only be able to offer one single plan of their choosing.

Commenting on his organization’s official Website, Arensmeyer wrote, “It’s a letdown to small business owners and their employees looking forward to robust, competitive exchanges in 2014. We hope this proposal is recognized as counterproductive and is abandoned.”

The delay will affect 33 states, each of which opted to allow the federal government to manage the health care exchange market, according to The New York Times. Small business owners were supposed to be able to begin signing up their employees this October in their choice of health care plans, and the coverage was to start in January. Now, according to The New York Times, that start-date will be pushed back to 2015.

Health Care Photo via Shutterstock


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

8 Reactions
  1. The government is inherently a large bureaucracy so it’s not surprising when initiatives are slow and don’t meet deadlines. They have virtually no incentive to be on time.

  2. The SHOP exchanges is what they are referring to and this is because they are unnecessary. Carriers are already allowing and will allow for employers to offer multiple plans to their employees. Some carriers in the midwest allow as many as 10 plans for a employer with as few as 2 employees. No need to wait on the goverment.

    • I agree that employee plan choice in the SHOP exchange is unnecessary, but not because some states are already offering choice, in fact, “employee plan choice” creates adverse selection, which creates higher premiums. New York State small businesses are community rated and are obligated to purchase 54 state mandates when purchasing private insurance. We have so many mandates because folks who didn’t have coverage in certain areas lobbied to get broader coverage. Additionally, NYS has been offering several government subsidized plans over the years, but cost control is still a factor. Even without employee choice, and the removal of state mandates from the NYS government plans, rates and taxes in NY have climbed due to the “actual cost of medical care”. Without adverse selection, we will be one small step closer to controlling premium costs, but the actual cost of health care still needs to be addressed.

  3. This is just the beginning. Many are now comparing the forms necessary to sign up for ObamaCare more confusing than the tax forms the IRS requires. And the news from doctors and businesses continues to get worse and worse with new surprises coming all the time from the law. The next 24 months should be very telling. And it couldn’t come at a better time as our ‘robust’ economy is only going to get better.

  4. This law is a complete joke. Even Harry Reid is now referring to ObamaCare as a stepping stone on the way to a single payer system. Get ready for long lines and worse care as more and more doctors leave the profession.

  5. This article should be updated with the latest news on ObamaCare. Now the administration has delayed the implementation of the cap on out-of-pocket health care costs. It would seem that they think they can just implement whatever they want from this legislation whenever it suits them. Amazing that no one has concerns about this.