It’s Official: Obamacare’s Small-Business Exchange is Partially Delayed

June 1, 2013

A few months back, the Obama administration took flak for initial plans to delay part of Obamacare's small-business exchange.

The idea, floated in regulations last month, wouldn't put off the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, altogether. Small businesses could still buy coverage for their employees on the new exchanges. What would be put off a year was an employee choice component: Rather than have each worker pick a plan, the employer would pick one insurance provider for everyone.

Those were preliminary regulations that got 40 comments from interested parties, some of whom urged the White House to rethink its decision and allow for employee choice in the first year of the exchanges' operation.

On Friday, Health and Human Services issued its final regulation, and the delay still stands, with federal officials noting worries about getting the choice function ready to launch in less than six months. 

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