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See if your small business qualifies to use the SHOP Marketplace

November 16th, 2015

In order to use the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace to offer health insurance to your employees, your business must meet all of these requirements:

  • You must have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Use the FTE Calculator to see if you qualify based on how SHOP counts FTEs. (See the question below about possible changes in employee count in some states for 2016.)
  • You must offer coverage to all your full-time employees — generally workers averaging 30 or more hours per week. You don’t have to offer coverage to part-time employees — generally those averaging less than 30 hours per week or seasonal employees. (You can offer coverage to part-timers if you want to.)
  • In most states, at least 70% of the employees you offer insurance to must either enroll in your plan or have coverage from another source. Use the SHOP Minimum Participation Rate Calculator to see how many of your employees must accept your offer.
    • If you don’t meet your minimum participation requirement, you can enroll in SHOP coverage between November 15 and December 15 any year. During this period you can enroll without meeting a minimum participation requirement.
  • You must have an office or employee work site within the state whose SHOP Marketplace you want to use. Visit this page, select your state, and see if your state’s SHOP Marketplace is available through or your state. We’ll show you next steps. See what to do if your business operates in multiple states.

Non-profit organizations can also use the SHOP Marketplace if they meet all the requirements.


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