Businesses operating in a state that relies on the federally established Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchange must wait until November 2014 for online enrollment. However, the SHOP Exchange is open and employers have two other options to enroll.
- Small employers can work through an agent, broker, or insurer that offers a certified SHOP plan to enroll their employees in coverage through the SHOP Exchange. The agent, broker, or insurer will help the employer fill out a paper application for SHOP eligibility and send it in to the SHOP Exchange.
- Small employers can complete the application on their own and mail it directly to the SHOP Exchange.
For more information on how to apply in your state, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/
Enrollment is open now for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014. For 2014 and 2015, small employers include employers with 1-50 full-time equivalent employees. Beginning in 2016, the SHOP Exchange will be open to employers with up to 100 full-time equivalent employees.
Beginning in 2014, the small business healthcare tax credit (which applies to employers with 25 or fewer full-time employees) will only be available for plans purchased on the SHOP Exchange (or a similar state-established exchange).