MONTPELIER (AP) - Vermont Health Connect, the state's online health insurance marketplace, is continuing to have technical problems.

Officials say the online premium payment system for small businesses will not be working until sometime next year.

Vermont Public Radio reports that small businesses were allowed to buy their coverage from insurance companies when the online payment system failed to work last fall.

Mark Larson, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health Access, says he wants to continue that option into next year.

He says that will allow Vermont Health Connect to focus on fixing problems with coverage for individuals.

Larson told lawmakers earlier this month that the state plants to hire a contractor to help address the backlog before open enrollment begins in November.