How can we help you today?

Do I qualify to act as an agent or broker in the SHOP Marketplace?

To sell plans through the SHOP Marketplace, you must have an active state insurance license and a National Producer Number (NPN), and sign a privacy and security agreement with the SHOP Marketplace. Learn more about the process, including optional training available.

What steps should I take to register as an agent or broker of SHOP plans?

See the whole list with step-by-step instructions.

Where’s the SHOP Agent/Broker portal?

Find SHOP Agent/Broker Portal here.

You’ll need your CMS Enterprise Portal user ID and password to sign in.
If you haven’t completed all 4 steps to sell SHOP plans, you won’t be able to log into the SHOP Agent/Broker Portal.
Where can I get help with my profile or using the SHOP Agent/Broker Portal?

Small business agents and brokers can contact the SHOP Call Center any time.

I never got a participation code from my employer. Can I enroll in the SHOP plan my job is offering?

No. You need your participation code before you can accept your employer’s SHOP coverage offer.

Ask your employer, not the SHOP Marketplace, for your participation number.
I’m self-employed. Can I get coverage through SHOP?

No. If you’re self-employed with no employees, you can enroll in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace for Individuals & Families. You can’t enroll in a SHOP plan.

Learn more about getting coverage if you’re self-employed, including how self-employment is defined.
If you have at least one full-time employee other than yourself, a spouse, a family member, or another owner, you can enroll in a SHOP plan.
Can I get health coverage through SHOP if I recently lost my job and am unemployed?

No. Only current employees of firms that are offering SHOP plans can enroll in the plan their employer offers.

If you’re unemployed, you can enroll in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace for Individuals & Families. Learn about your coverage options if you’re unemployed.
My employer isn’t offering health coverage. Can I still get coverage through the Marketplace?

Yes, but not through the SHOP Marketplace.

Learn how to get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace for Individuals & Families.
Do I have to accept the SHOP plan my employer offers me?

No. You can decline your employer’s SHOP plan and get coverage through another source.

Learn about your options if you want to consider other coverage.
If you don’t have any health coverage, you may have to pay a fee.
I work part time. Am I eligible for my employer’s SHOP coverage?

Check with your employer. Employers can decide whether to offer SHOP coverage to part-time employees.

Where can I get information about what my employer’s plan covers and how much it costs?

You’ll get a notice about your SHOP coverage offer that includes a participation code. Create a Marketplace account, log in, and you’ll be able to see your offer. You may be offered one plan or a choice of plans.

Once you have your participation code, you can also contact the SHOP Call Center. A representative can review your offer and help you enroll or decline the coverage.
If you don’t have a participation code, contact your employer, not the SHOP Marketplace.
Where can I see plans and prices before I enroll?

You can see SHOP Marketplace plans and prices by using this tool.

The prices shown are estimates based only on some basic information. When you apply you’ll provide more details and see the exact amount you’d pay for each plan.
How much of the premium will I have to pay for my employee’s plan and how much will it cost me?

You can decide how much of your employees’ premiums you want to pay. There’s no minimum or maximum percentage or dollar amount.

What if I operate in more than one state?

You have several choices about how you offer SHOP coverage. Learn about your options if your business operates in more than one state.

Can I use an agent or broker in the SHOP marketplace?

Yes. You can work with any agent or broker who’s signed a privacy and security agreement with the SHOP Marketplace.

Ask any agent or broker you want to work with if they’ve signed it.
Agents and brokers can learn how to sign the agreement and sell SHOP plans here.
After you create a SHOP Marketplace account, log in and you’ll see a list of agents and brokers searchable by ZIP code. All of them have signed the SHOP privacy and security agreements.
See how to create a SHOP Marketplace account and log in.
How do I calculate my full-time equivalent (FTE) employees?
Use our SHOP FTE Calculator to count your total FTEs based on each worker’s full- and part-time hours.
Can I get tax credits if I offer health coverage through the SHOP Marketplace?
Yes, if your business has fewer than 25 employees with an average salary of $50,000 or less and you meet some other requirements.
Learn about the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
Do I have to provide my employees with health coverage?

Not if you have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. You can choose to offer insurance through the SHOP Marketplace or any other source. But you don’t have to, and you don’t face a penalty if you don’t.

If you have 50 or more employees, you may have to offer health coverage meeting certain standards or make a payment. Learn about the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment.
Where can I get a list of agents and brokers in my area?
  • After you create a SHOP Marketplace account, log in and you’ll see a list of agents and brokers searchable by ZIP code. All of them have signed privacy and security agreements with the SHOP Marketplace that allow them to sell SHOP plans.
  • See how to create a SHOP Marketplace account and log in.
  • You can work with any agent or broker who’s signed the SHOP agreement. Ask any agent or broker you want to work with if they’ve signed it.
What if I’m self-employed?

If you’re self-employed with no employees, you can enroll in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace for Individuals & Families. You can’t enroll in a SHOP plan.

Learn more about how self-employment is defined.
If you have at least one full-time employee other than yourself, a spouse, a family member, or another owner, you can enroll in a SHOP plan.
How do I make payments for my SHOP plan?

You make your premium payments to the SHOP Marketplace, not your insurance company.

Learn more about paying your SHOP premiums (PDF).
I never got a participation code from my employer. Can I enroll in the SHOP plan my job is offering?

No. You need your participation code before you can accept your employer’s SHOP coverage offer.

Ask your employer, not the SHOP Marketplace, for your participation number.

Apply & enroll in SHOP any time

There's no limited enrollment period for the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).

Whether you apply online or use an agent or broker, you can apply, pick a plan, and enroll employees any time of year. Coverage can start at any time you choose.


Still need answers?