No Delay for Rhode Island's Health Insurance Exchange for Small Businesses

Apr 3, 2013

The federal government is pushing back the launch of an online health insurance marketplace for small businesses that’s part of the Affordable Care Act. But there will be no delay in Rhode Island.

The health insurance exchange is the online marketplace for health insurance created by Obamacare. That’s where, starting October 1st, individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for and compare health insurance plans. Federal law called for a special marketplace just for small businesses, called the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP exchange. Now, they’ve delayed that requirement until 2015. But exchange director Christie Ferguson says Rhode Island’s SHOP exchange will still be ready this October.

“SHOP is on schedule and we’re going to have employee choice in Rhode Island. And we’re going to be one of the only states in the country to do that for small businesses," said Ferguson.

The idea is that small businesses will be able to buy insurance for their employees the traditional way – from the insurance company or through a broker. Or they’ll be able to let employees pick their own plans on the exchange.