A key piece of the federal health law for small businesses will not go into effect as planned, according to officials of the Obama administration. The government stated that they will need more time to implement the “Small Business Health Options Program,” otherwise known as SHOP, which will hopefully give small businesses choices of health care plans.
The program was supposed to get underway in 2014, but the Department of Health and Human Services have offered that the during the first year businesses that utilize one of the 33 state exchanges which will be run fully or partly by the federal government will only be able to offer their employees one plan. Choices of a variety of health plan options will not be available until an unspecified time in the future.
Administration representatives said that the remaining 17 states administering their own exchanges may also choose to delay the implementation of SHOP if they need to.
“For transitional purposes we have proposed that in 2014, a state may elect to have businesses choose one plan to offer employees, and in 2015 employees will be able to choose from the full range of plans in the marketplace,” said Fabien Levy, an HHS official.