Small business online exchange access delayedSubmitted: 09/26/2013
Story By Adam Fox

ACROSS WISCONSIN - Small Businesses and uninsured Americans can buy health insurance on the federal exchange starting Tuesday, Oct 1.

People can do it online at healthcare.gov.

But small businesses won't be able to register online until November 1st.

The Obama administration said Thursday businesses can still enroll starting Oct. 1, but they'll have to do it over the phone or on paper.

Under the Affordable Care Act businesses with more than 50 employees will need to buy plans for their workers or be fined.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker worries about how that will affect their growth.

"We're going to try and do more to help them out in the private market, so that the folks who go beyond the exchange have as many options as possible, Walker said. "But it has been and will continue to be an issue for small businesses."

The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance worked with business owners at a small business summit in Stevens Point Wednesday.

The department tried to help small businesses understand what the changes mean for them. Melissa Remis owns a few small business in Wisconsin. She says those changes add uncertainty.

"There is some good stuff and some bad stuff about it, I am diabetic and I like the fact that I can't get turned down for insurance," Remis said.

But she adds those changes add uncertainty.

"How it's going to effect is still something that we will have to work out and figure out what's going to be best," Remis said.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, most Americans could end up paying less than 100 dollars a month for health insurance on the federal exchange.

They'll be able to choose from up to four levels of plans.

People in Wisconsin will pay $361 a month for a mid-level coverage plan on the exchange. That's hirer than the $328 average nationwide.

A 27-year-old making $25,000 a year could get the low level bronze plan for $96 a month with help from a federal subsidy.

A family of four making $50,000 could get the low level bronze plan for $106 a month with help from a federal subsidy.

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