This article is a good comparison of the government’s enrollment site last year to the new, improved version being rolled out this year. There are a couple of noteworthy points for employers. First, it will be easier to “window shop” plans if you want to look and see how the public offerings compare to employer-sponsored plans. Secondly, the article points out that the lowest penalty for not having coverage under the individual mandate – just $95 last year -- is going up to $325 in 2015, with the actual penalty calculated as a percentage of income. This may spur more individuals with access to an employer plan to enroll. The window for the public plans opens Nov 15 and goes until February. However, for coverage to be effective January 1, elections must be made by December 15. That’s about the same length as most employers’ open enrollment periods, and it will happen at approximately the same time. Fingers crossed this open enrollment will go more smoothly than last year!