Another hit to the Obamacare rollout. And another convenient delay until just after the 2014 election.

Via WaPo:

The White House will hold off on launching its online health exchange where small businesses can shop for coverage until November 2014, an HHS official confirmed Wednesday.

Small businesses will still have the option to purchase coverage through the new marketplace but will not be able to do so online. Instead, until next fall, employers with fewer than 50 workers will need to work through a broker or agent to buy health plans for their employees.

“We’ve concluded that we can best serve small employers by continuing this offline process while we concentrate on both creating a smoothly functioning online experience in the SHOP Marketplace, and adding key new features, including an employee choice option and premium aggregation services, by November 2014,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wrote in a Q&A distributed to health law stakeholders.

The SHOP portal had been expected to open this month based on prior administration statements.