Obama administration delays online insurance marketplace for small businesses until 2014

By Carla K. Johnson

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27 2013 6:06 p.m. MST

Last week, the administration also announced a schedule change in next year's open enrollment season. It will start on Nov. 15, 2014, a month later than originally scheduled, and finish on Jan. 15, 2015, about five weeks later than originally scheduled. The midterm congressional elections are Nov. 4, and congressional Republicans accused the administration of shifting the dates for political reasons, to hide any spike in 2015 premiums.

The administration earlier had announced it will allow insurance companies to extend for another year coverage under individual policies that don't meet new coverage requirements. That move was a response to anger over a wave of more than 4 million policy cancellations.

The series of delays was seized upon by Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., chairman of the House Small Business Committee.

"In the midst of the angst and uncertainty that small businesses and Americans feel about Obamacare, today's news of yet another last-minute delay is just more proof that the law is unworkable and bad for small businesses," Graves said in a statement.

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