What's new in SHOP for 2018

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) has a new enrollment process for 2018 that will affect how small employers apply for and manage their SHOP coverage that starts on or after January 1, 2018.

The new enrollment process for 2018 SHOP plans

For 2018 coverage, there are 2 options for signing up for a SHOP health and/or dental insurance plan:

  • Contact your insurance company and enroll with them. Pick a SHOP plan, apply, enroll, manage coverage, and pay premiums through an insurance company without using HealthCare.gov.
  • Work with a SHOP-registered agent or broker. You can use your current agent or broker or find a new one, as long as the agent or broker is authorized to sell SHOP insurance. Find an agent or broker today using the Find Local Help tool.

Note: You’ll no longer use HealthCare.gov for enrolling in, managing, and paying premiums for SHOP coverage. Don’t log in to your existing HealthCare.gov account, create a new one, or start an application through HealthCare.gov for 2018 coverage.

Specific enrollment steps may vary by insurance company for plans starting on or after January 1, 2018. Contact your insurance company or a SHOP-registered agent or broker if you have questions. Learn more about the new process for signing up for 2018 SHOP plans.

The new SHOP Eligibility Determination Form

You must meet certain requirements to qualify for SHOP insurance. To verify that you can enroll in SHOP coverage starting on or after January 1, 2018, use the new SHOP Eligibility Determination Form.

The SHOP Eligibility Determination Form only takes a few minutes to fill out, and you’ll get an instant determination. Just enter some basic information about your business, certify that you meet certain eligibility requirements, review your form, and submit.

Save your eligibility determination results for your records. Proof of SHOP eligibility may be required to enroll in SHOP coverage through an insurance company or to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.

What's staying the same with SHOP in 2018

  • SHOP is available for small businesses. Small businesses with 1–50 employees are generally eligible for SHOP.
  • Offer SHOP coverage to save money. Offering SHOP coverage is generally the only way for small businesses to save with the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
  • Get information easily. You can still use HealthCare.gov to confirm that your business is eligible for SHOP, browse plans and prices, and find useful resources for enrolling in coverage.
  • You can work with an agent or broker. You can use your current SHOP-registered agent or broker or find a new one.

Note: If your plan began on or before December 1, 2017, the SHOP changes will not affect you until your current 12-month plan period expires. You will continue to use HealthCare.gov to manage your coverage until then. When it’s time to renew, you’ll follow the new SHOP enrollment process for 2018. Learn more about 2017 SHOP coverage.