Overview of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace

By | March 3, 2015

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace helps small businesses provide health coverage to their employees. This is a new type of program brought into effect by ObamaCare.

Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace

The Market SHOP will be available to employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. This includes nonprofit organizations. If you are a self-employed without employees, you can get medical coverage through the insurance market for individuals, but not through SHOP. Not only does the Small Business Health Options program give small businesses the buying power only large employers had in the past, it also offers a simple way to shop for coverage. Employers can even use the SHOP to apply for tax credits which lower their share of employee premiums.


Benefits of using SHOP Marketplace for Health Insurance

The SHOP marketplace allows it to offer health and dental coverage and quality that meets the needs of your company and your employees. SHOP offers flexibility, choice and convenience to apply for and administer the plans online.

  • For 2015 and beyond, you can request SHOP coverage, choosing a plan or plans, completing its offer of coverage, manage employee engagement and pay their premiums online. Your employees can also register online.
  • You control the coverage offered and what portion of the premium you pay employees. You choose if you offer dependent coverage ( some states require and dental insurance. You choose the dates the open enrollment period for employees is, and the waiting period for registration of new employees.
  • You can use your current agent or broker to help you enroll, find a new agent or broker in your area familiar with SHOP plans, or manage your registration yourself. When you apply, you can search using postcode, registered agents and brokers to sell plans SHOP.
  • In all states, you can offer a health plan to their employees. In some states, you can choose a category of coverage , as Bronze or Silver, and let their employees choose any plan in that category .
  • If you enroll in the SHOP coverage and has less than 25 employees, you may qualify for Health Insurance Tax Credit for Small Business with a value of up to 50% towards the cost of premiums. The tax credit is only available for plans purchased through the SHOP marketplace


Information about Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace

Do I have to provide health insurance to my employees? No, if you have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTE). You may choose to offer insurance through the insurance market or any other source. But it does not have to, and not pay a penalty if it does not. If you have 50 or more employees, learn about Shared Responsibility Payment of Employer .

Can I be insured through the SHOP plan I offer to my employees? Yes. You can get medical coverage through the SHOP plan offered to employees. If you choose to provide coverage for dependents, you can also cover your family. Note: You is not included in the number of employees to determine if your business is eligible for coverage SHOP.

If my only employee is my spouse or a member of the family, how I can use the SHOP marketplace to both be insured? –  Usually, no. Spouses and family members are not included when determining whether your business is eligible for SHOP. To be eligible for SHOP must be between 1 and 50 full-time equivalent employees who are not business owners, partners or family members.

Can I offer my employees dental coverage through the SHOP Marketplace? – Yes. You can offer dental coverage to employees, but you do not have to. The offer dental coverage can be especially important if you are offering coverage to dependents and the health plan or plans you offer do not include pediatric dental benefits. You have the option of choosing a dental plan when completing your application to SHOP.