In March 2013 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a one-year delay to a key component of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), set to launch in October. The announcement threw an unwelcome wrench into the plans of many small businesses that were counting on SHOPs as a way to offer their employees more health benefit options with more competitive pricing and lower administrative costs.
Sheila Burke discusses the impact of this delay with Home Channel News, noting the importance of employers staying abreast of new developments and communicating with employees. "Communications with employees will be critical and should begin to occur in advance of any enrollment process,” said Ms. Burke. "There is still a great deal that is not known, and further guidance from the administration on the rules governing small business, the exchanges and other related provisions will likely be forthcoming."