Individual Health Insurance Marketplace and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)
Both self-employed individuals and small employers now have a new way to obtain coverage through the new health insurance Marketplace. The individual Marketplace offers four levels of benefit packages that differ by the percentage of costs the health plan covers. The self-employed and other individuals may qualify for individual tax credits and subsidies on a sliding scale, based on income, when they purchase coverage through the Marketplace. 2015 enrollment in the individual Marketplace is open now through February 15, 2015. Visit Healthcare.gov to learn more or call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Small employers looking to provide coverage can do so through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace. SHOP is open to those employers with up to 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and offers small employers increased purchasing power to obtain a better choice of high-quality coverage at a lower cost. SHOP also pools risk for small groups and reduces administrative complexity, thereby reducing costs. In addition, if you offer your employees coverage through the SHOP and meet other eligibility requirements, you may be able to claim the Small Business Tax Credit worth up to 50%. Enrollment in SHOP is offered anytime during the year. For more information, visit Healthcare.gov or call the SHOP Call Center at 1-800-706-7893 (TTY users: 1-800-706-7915), Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. You can also use the SHOP FTE Calculator to determine if you meet the size requirements for SHOP.