Get health coverage for your small business employees anytime with the SHOP Marketplace

Published on July 10, 2015

If you’re a small business owner, you know how important it is to offer high-quality, affordable health and dental coverage that meets the needs of your business and your employees. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace can help you do that by offering flexibility, choice, and the convenience of online application and account management.
The SHOP Marketplace is currently open to employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), including non-profit organizations. In 2016, the SHOP Marketplace will be available to larger businesses with 100 or fewer FTEs. You can enroll in the SHOP Marketplace at any point throughout the year, and there’s no restricted enrollment period when you can start offering your enrollees SHOP Marketplace coverage.
Here are 5 benefits of the SHOP Marketplace:
  • Everything’s online. Visit to apply for the SHOP Marketplace, choose a plan or plans, complete your coverage offer, manage employee participation, and pay your premiums. Your enrollees can apply online too.
  • Flexible coverage options. You control the coverage you offer and how much you pay toward employee premiums. You choose whether to offer dependent coverage and dental insurance. You choose how long your employees’ Open Enrollment Period is, and the waiting period before new employees can enroll.
  • There’s help to apply and enroll. Licensed agents and brokers registered to work with the SHOP Marketplace can help you apply and enroll for coverage. You can also continue to use your current agent or broker as long as they complete the SHOP Marketplace registration requirements. Working with a SHOP-registered agent or broker doesn’t cost you or your employees a dime. When you apply, you can search for agents and brokers registered to sell SHOP Marketplace plans by name and ZIP code.
  • Employee choice. In all states, you can offer one health and one dental plan to your employees. In some states, you can choose a coverage category, like Bronze or Silver, and let your employees select the plan that meets their needs within the category that you choose.
  • You may be eligible for a tax credit. The SHOP Tax Credit Estimator can help determine if your business may qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit worth up to 50% of your premium costs. The tax credit is available only for plans bought through the SHOP Marketplace.