If you currently provide coverage

If you insure your employees now, you can keep the coverage you have. If you have 50 or fewer full-time employees, you may offer a plan via SHOP instead.

One reason you may want to offer a plan through the Small Business Health Options (SHOP) Marketplace is to claim the small business health care tax credit. It is available only if you buy your coverage through SHOP, have fewer than 25 employees, and meet other criteria. Learn more about SHOP eligibility rules (PDF).

If your employees buy Marketplace insurance

Under the law, your employees may choose to buy health coverage through the individual Health Insurance Marketplace instead of accepting the coverage you offer.

As long as the coverage you offer is considered affordable and meets minimum value, employees offered coverage will not be eligible for savings on their monthly premiums if they buy through the individual Marketplace.

This means you won’t have to make an Employer Shared Responsibility Payment in 2015. Learn more about the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment, including how to determine if the coverage you offer is considered affordable and meets minimum value.

Changing to a plan offered through the SHOP Marketplace

If you want to change your current health coverage to a plan offered through the SHOP Marketplace, you can do so.

  • Generally, to use SHOP you must be a small business with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.

  • You can apply anytime throughout the year. Enroll by the 15th of any month and coverage can start as soon as the 1st of the next month.

Learn how to apply for SHOP Marketplace coverage. Just pick your state and we’ll show you your next steps.

Have questions about the SHOP Marketplace for businesses with 50 or fewer employees? Call 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 711). Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Agents and brokers may also use this number.