Find out if your small business qualifies for SHOP

To offer Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) health and/or dental insurance to your employees, your business or non-profit organization must meet 4 requirements:

1. Have 1-50 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs)

  • Use the FTE Calculator to find out if you qualify.
  • To qualify for SHOP, you must have at least 1 FTE employee other than owners, spouses, and family members of owners, and partners.

2. Offer coverage to all full-time employees

  • Full-time employees generally work 30 or more hours per week.
  • You don’t have to offer coverage to part-time employees — those averaging less than 30 hours per week — or seasonal workers. (But, you can offer coverage to part-time employees if you choose.)

3. Enroll at least 70% of the employees you offer insurance to

4. Have an office or employee work site within the state whose SHOP you want to use


More answers: SHOP Eligibility

Do some states let businesses with more than 50 employees to participate in SHOP?

Some states may make the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) available to businesses with up to 100 employees. If you have more than 50 employees, and don’t know if you’re eligible for SHOP, contact your state Department of Insurance, or call the SHOP Call Center at 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 1-888-201-6445).

What if I currently offer SHOP insurance and my business grows to more than 50 employees?

Once enrolled in SHOP insurance, businesses can renew their coverage even if a group increases to more than 50 employees.

How do I know my state’s minimum participation rate?

In most states, at least 70% of the employees you offer coverage to must enroll in it or have coverage from another source — like a family member’s job, Medicare, Medicaid, the military (TRICARE), veterans’ programs, or individual health insurance.

Some states have different minimum participation rates:

  • Iowa: 75%
  • Louisiana: 75%
  • Mississippi: 0%
  • New Hampshire: 75%
  • South Dakota: 75%
  • Tennessee: 50%
  • Texas: 75%
  • Utah: 75%

The SHOP Minimum Participation Rate Calculator takes your state’s rules into account and tells you how many employees must accept your offer. Before using this tool, you may want to find out if your employees are interested in insurance you may offer, and if they already have coverage from another source.