The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has delayed online SHOP enrollment on the federal exchanges for one year. Enrollment will continue via paper applications and HHS is suggesting using agents and brokers as well as direct enrollment through insurers as alternatives for signing up.

The online component was previously delayed until “sometime in November [2013]” according to numerous HHS and U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services employees. But more recently, CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille has dodged reporter questions about whether it will be ready by Nov. 30. She confirmed the news on a Wednesday media call, noting it only affects exchanges run by the federal government.

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