Technology glitch to delay health care exchanges for businesses

A technological roadblock will delay part of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges, the Obama administration acknowledged yesterday.

Administration officials say the exchanges will not be ready to accept online applications from small businesses when the program begins on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The small-business exchanges will be open to companies with 50 or fewer employees.

Despite the delay in online applications, small businesses will still have time to sign up for policies before they go into effect on Jan. 1, according to the administration.

The problem centers on software the government is using to support the exchanges. Recent press accounts have noted the software is miscalculating U.S. subsidies for low-income people and has made inaccurate determinations of eligibility in various test cases.

Despite these glitches, the administration says the online marketplace for individual consumers would be fully ready for the Oct. 1 launch.