Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace (or Exchanges) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) began on Oct. 1. ABC’s Insurance Trust advises that it may be prudent for ABC members to hold off on taking any action.

Open enrollment will take place from Oct. 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014. Health insurance coverage through the Marketplace can begin as soon as Jan. 1, 2014.

ABC’s Insurance Trust estimates the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOPs) will be appropriate for approximately 1 percent or less of ABC members. In 2014, the SHOP Marketplace is open to employers with 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs). Beginning in 2016, all SHOPs will be open to employers with up to 100 FTEs. 

On Oct. 1, the federal government Marketplace website experienced significant delays due to a high volume of users and some state sites crashed.  Thus, members should seriously consider letting the government work out some of the technical problems for the next month or so, before giving serious consideration to enrolling in the Marketplace.   

With the opening of the Marketplace, be aware of scam artists developing fake websites and offering fraudulent insurance plans.  Only visit trusted websites regarding the Marketplace, such as healthcare.gov. To learn more about recent PPACA-related scams please read this.    

Information about the Marketplace can be found here.

Information about the SHOPs can be found here.