As part of the Oct. 1 rollout of the Health Insurance Marketplaces, federal officials opened the Small Business Health Option Program, which allows small business with fewer than 50 full-time employees to buy insurance on the exchanges.
Beginning in 2014, companies using the program will be able to claim a tax credit for up to 50 percent of the employer's contribution to premiums to help pay for their insurance plans.
Due to system problems, the online enrollment process has been delayed until November. However, employers can still apply through the program using paper applications or by phone.
While that enrollment is currently open, Green said he thinks most business owners will wait until they see how the health exchanges work for individuals and what happens to rates next year before they commit to changing their current benefit plans.
"They are basically going to punt and wait until later in the year to get more information on what the options are and what their costs are going to be next year," he said.
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond economist Andrew Bauer spoke at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics' annual West Virginia Outlook Conference in Charleston Tuesday, and said many businesses in the region are waiting to see what effects the health care law will have in the next year.
Bauer said many businesses have held back on hiring or investment because of uncertainty over the impact of recent changes to health care and tax policies.
"We consistently hear - over the last couple years, and particularly this year - concerns about some of these changes," Bauer said.
He said the Federal Reserve expects business investment and hiring to pick up next year once businesses begin to see those effects materialize.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.