Here’s a quick overview of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace and how it helps small businesses provide health coverage to their employees. The SHOP Marketplace is open to employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), including non-profit organizations, and you can enroll in SHOP at any point throughout the year. If you are a self-employed individual looking for insurance, you’ll have go to the Health Insurance Marketplace for individuals to get your coverage.
In general, your small business will qualify for the shop marketplace if you meet the criteria below. A thorough reading of the material at www.healthcare.gov is recommended.
- You must have 50 full-time employees or fewer
- You must offer coverage to all full-time employees (30 hours or more per week)
- In Maryland at least 70% of your full-time employees must enroll in SHOP. This can be avoided if you enroll in coverage between November 15 and December 15 each year
- You must have an office or employee work site within the SHOP’s service area. If your small business is located in Maryland, you can use the Maryland Health Connection website to enroll your employees in health coverage.
The SHOP Marketplace allows you to offer quality health and dental coverage that meets the needs of your business and your employees. It offers flexibility, choice, and the convenience of online application and account management. Your employees will enroll online as well.
SHOP plans are presented in 4 categories. The category you choose will determine how much your employees pay for things like premiums, deductibles and copayments, and the total amount will have to spend out-of-pocket for the year if they need a lot of care.
- The Bronze health plan covers about 60% of the total costs of care and the employee pays about 40%.
- The Silver health plan covers about 70% of the total costs of care and the employee pays about 30%.
- The Gold health plan covers about 80% of the total costs of care and the employee pays about 20%.
- The Platinum health plan covers about 90% of the total costs of care and the employee pays about 10%.
To find out how to choose your plan, visit the HealthCare.gov website and read: Choosing a plan that works for you.
The folks at Freedom Insurance want to help your business succeed! It is our goal to provide you with the necessary information to do that by making informed choices. We’re always happy to answer your insurance questions. Call us today!