Under final Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations, open enrollment for the 2015 plan year begins Nov. 15, 2014, for small employers that buy group health plans through the federally run Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). State-based SHOPs can set their own open enrollment periods.
In addition, the regs allow (but don’t require) the continuation of the transition rule, through 2015, under which employers in the federal SHOP are allowed to offer employees only one qualified health plan. (79 F.R. 30239, 5-27-14)
One-year transition delay. The vast majority of small employers—defined by states as either those with 100 or fewer employees, or with 50 or fewer employees during the preceding calendar year—can use the federal SHOP to buy health plans for their employees.
Beginning with the 2015 plan year, all SHOPs were required to allow employers to either offer employees an array of plans within the same “metal level” or...(register to read more)