For small business owners, one of the promising aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was that it was going to set up health insurance exchanges in each state where individuals and small business owners could buy health insurance at lower (or at least competitive) rates. The exchanges promised to offer more choice than many entrepreneurs have available under the current health-care system.
Bad news for employers who were looking forward to buying from the exchanges, which were slated to be up and running by late 2013 in time for the PPACA to take effect in January 2014: Bloomberg Businessweek reports that in 2014, small businesses shopping for policies in many states will have only one health plan to choose from to offer their employees.
While states have the option of creating their own exchanges 26 states, most in Republican control, chose not to do so and instead are leaving it to the federal government to build their exchanges. The government did not expect so many states to choose this option–as a result, it’s struggling to keep pace.
The upshot is that small businesses with fewer than 50 employees in those states relying on the federal government to set up their exchanges will have to wait until 2015 to see any choice. For more details on the situation, this New York Times article offers a good rundown of what’s going on.