In October, we reported that federa lSmall Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges would not be availableonlineuntil an unspecified date in November.  The latest news out of Washington is that the Obama Administration hopes to have online SHOP exchange enrollment available by the end of November.

New Timeframe for Online SHOP Exchange EnrollmentWhile testifying before Capitol Hill on October 29, Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, claimed SHOP would be fully operational at that time.  Businesses interested in SHOP should note that in order for health insurance to go into effect January 1, employees must be enrolled by December 15, 2013.

One alternative to enrolling online through SHOP is to use the services of an insurance broker.  Qualified brokers can either help you navigate SHOP or present you with healthcare benefit options sent directly from carriers.  If you have questions about what the new timeframe could mean for you or are interested in reviewing your options for healthcare benefits, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On a similar note, the Spanish language version of is still not operational.  During her testimony, Tavenner mentioned that the government expects it will also be ready by the end of November.