Coverage under the exchanges won’t take effect until January 1, which should help sort out glitches in the complex system of websites and call centers. Experts have warned health care buyers to be prepared for problems during the enrollment period. “As with any major change, “look for some hiccups along the way,” says Joshua Welter, a spokesman for the Main Street Alliance. “This will entail the mother of all growing pains,” adds Neil Trautwein, vice president of the National Retail Federation.
That’s why the ACA includes $54 million for each state to have at least two “navigators”, individuals or organizations with the expertise to help explain the new health law so that participants can evaluate their options and select the coverage that’s best for them.
Unlike individuals, who have an open enrollment period just once a year, small businesses that use statewide health insurance exchanges can sign up their employees on a monthly basis throughout the year. However, workers who choose this option will not be able to pick the plan they want, but will have to sign up for the coverage that their employers selects.
Our employee benefits professionals would be happy to advise you on the most effective way of using the ACA’s exchange system to benefit your workers, and your business.