Your Source for Health Reform

Topic: SHOP

The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, is a marketplace that helps small businesses provide health coverage to their employees. Employers with 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees can buy employee coverage on the SHOP through a broker or agent, and those with fewer than 25 employees may qualify for tax credits.

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SHOP Participation Rate Rules

To purchase health insurance through the SHOP, a minimum percentage of employees must enroll in the plan. In a October 2014 fact sheet, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services outlines the steps for calculating a small business’ participation rate.

Enrollment Issues for Small Businesses

This March 2014 information sheet and frequently asked questions from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation addresses common concerns for small employers as they explore health insurance options for their workers.

Can Your Small Business Use the SHOP?

This October 2014 flier from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services summarizes the basic qualifications for a small business to be eligible to participate in the Small Business Health Options Program. A guide for calculating the number of full-time equivalent employees, with an example, is also provided.

Top 5 ACA Facts for Small Business

This November 2014 webinar from the Small Business Health Collaborative gives an overview of the healthcare reform law and explains how both individuals and small business owners can get group health insurance and qualify for financial assistance.

What is the SHOP?

Small businesses can find health insurance for their employees through the SHOP Marketplace. This 2014 fact sheet from the Small Business Health Collaborative lays out the steps small businesses must take to obtain health insurance through the SHOP and resources that can help.

The Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit

Employers purchasing health insurance in on the SHOP Marketplace may be eligible to receive a tax credit that covers up to 50% their contribution to employee premiums. This 2014 fact sheet from the Small Business Health Collaborative explains the eligibility requirements and gives tips on how to determine if your business qualifies.

How to Provide Notice to Employees About the Marketplace

Businesses are required to inform their employees about the existence of the health insurance marketplace. This 2014 fact sheet from the Small Business Health Collaborative details steps businesses can take to comply with the law, plus it includes a link to the marketplace notice that businesses can use to inform their employees.

Checklist for Working with an Independent Broker

Details about your company and employees, as well as budget and tax considerations, are all important factors when choosing a small business group plan. The Small Business Health Collaborative created this checklist in 2014 to help small business owners prepare to meet with a broker to purchase employee health insurance through the SHOP.

Small Business Survey on ACA Health Insurance Options

This report offers strategies to increase the number of small business employees enrolled in health insurance. The suggestions are based on results of a fall 2014 survey of small business owners designed to gain a better understanding of how, if at all, they are offering health insurance to their employees; what are their views of the Affordable Care Act; and what health insurance information would be useful to them. The report was the result of a collaboration by Health & Disability Advocates and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Employee Choice in Illinois

The ACA requires state exchanges of the Small Business Health Options Program to offer an employee choice model which allows an employee to select from among different plans and carriers in a plan tier determined by the employer; and it allow some other models to be offered as well. This May 2012 report by the Wakely Consulting Group for the state Department of Insurance explains in detail the considerations involved in structuring the various models. The employee choice element of Illinois’ SHOP has been delayed until 2016.

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