If your employer is offering SHOP health insurance that began in 2017

If your employer offers you 2017 health insurance through SHOP, you'll get an email or letter from SHOP explaining your options and next steps.

IMPORTANT: This page applies to employees who have been offered 2017 SHOP coverage

Your plan's coverage year is determined by when your employer's group plan started. 2017 SHOP plans have start dates from January 1 to December 1, 2017.

  • If you got an email about a SHOP offer, use the SHOP "participation code" or "SHOP Unique Code" from that email to view the offer.
  • If you have questions about your plan's coverage year, ask your employer about the start date.

For employees with SHOP insurance offers that begin in 2018, you'll get offer information from your insurance company or employer. You do not need to create an account on HealthCare.gov or log in to your existing account to view your offer of 2018 coverage.

Note: If you are a self-employed business owner with no employees, or an employee who does not have an offer of coverage from your employer, visit the Marketplace for individuals and families to see your coverage options.

How to accept or decline your employer's offer

You'll get a notice (or email) with a "participation code" (also called a "SHOP Unique Code"). If you don't have it, contact your employer. You'll need it to accept or decline your employer's insurance offer.

To view your offer, log in to your HealthCare.gov account, if you have one, or create a new one. On the "Where do you want to go?" page, choose "Visit employee marketplace."

  • Read the offer carefully. Make sure you understand the coverage and costs, including the premium, deductible, copayments, and coinsurance.
  • If you’re offered a choice of plans, read about each one to find the plan that best meets your needs.

You can accept or decline the coverage offer by phone or online. Be sure to have your SHOP participation code ready. You can't respond directly through your employer.

Check out other health care options

You have other options in addition to your employer's offer:

  • You can enroll in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace for Individuals & Families instead of accepting your employer's offer. However, you may not qualify for income-based tax credits or savings, and your employer won't contribute to your premium.
  • You can buy a health insurance plan directly from an insurance company, through an agent or broker, or from an online seller. Note: You can't get a premium tax credit or other savings based on your income if you buy a plan outside the Marketplace.

Important: If you don’t have qualifying health coverage for all or some months of the year, you may have to pay a penalty with your next federal tax return.

Resources for employees with 2017 coverage


  • Contact the SHOP Call Center at 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 711) weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.