The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace is for small employers who want to provide health and dental coverage to their employees — affordably, flexibly, and conveniently.
To use the SHOP Marketplace, your business or non-profit organization must have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). (Some states may use different employee maximums for 2016.)
You can start offering SHOP coverage to your employees any time of year.
FYI If you're self-employed with no employees, visit the Health Insurance Marketplace for Individuals & Families. The SHOP Marketplace is for business with at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee other than owners, partners, or family members. Learn about coverage if you’re self-employed.
The SHOP Marketplace offers high-quality plans from private insurance companies.
You have choice and flexibility. You can:
You can handle everything online — applying, choosing plans, managing your coverage, and paying your premiums — whenever it’s convenient for you
You can use your current agent or broker, work with any SHOP-registered agent or broker, or handle everything yourself. You won’t pay more if you use an agent or broker. See how to work with an agent or broker in SHOP.
If you have fewer than 25 employees, you may qualify for a Small Business Health Care Tax Credit worth up to 50% of your premium costs.
If you have fewer than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, you are not required to provide insurance to your 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.
Yes, as long as at least one of your employees enrolls in your coverage.
Generally, no. Spouses and family members don’t count when determining if your business is eligible to use the SHOP Marketplace. To be eligible, you must have 1 to 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees who aren’t business owners, partners, or family members.
Yes, but only if they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a life change, like having a baby, adopting a child, or getting married.
Starting in 2016, some states may make the SHOP Marketplace available to businesses with up to 100 employees. If you have more than 50 employees and don’t know if you can use the SHOP Marketplace, contact your state Department of Insurance or the SHOP Call Center using the number above.