Changes to How You Enroll to SHOP in 2018

The SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) will be making some changes in 2018.

The Small Business Health Options Program is for small employers who want to provide health and/or dental insurance to their employees — affordably, flexibly, and conveniently.

  • To purchase SHOP insurance, your business or non-profit organization must have 1-50 employees.
  • If eligible, you don’t have to wait for an Open Enrollment Period. You can start offering SHOP coverage to your employees any time of year.

Enrolling in SHOP insurance is generally the only way for small businesses to take advantage of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. You may qualify if you have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees making an average of about $50,000 or less.

If you want to enroll for coverage starting on or after January 1, 2018 please note the following changes:

  • To choose a plan or enroll you will not use www.healthcare.gov. Instead you will need to contact a SHOP registered broker or an insurance company.
  • You will use www.healthcare.gov to verify if you qualify.

This changes apply to small businesses applying for health coverage for the first time or that had a gap in coverage during 2017.

If your business already has SHOP coverage, this changes will apply when your plan is up for renewal.

If your coverage began anywhere between January 1 – December 1, 2017:

  • Your SHOP plan year is 12 months. For example, a plan that started on November 1, 2017 will end on October 31, 2018.
  • As long as you continue to pay your premiums, your coverage won’t be affected until your 12-month policy period ends.
  • While your 2017 coverage is active, you’ll continue to use HealthCare.gov to manage your coverage and pay premiums.
  • When it’s time to renew or change your SHOP insurance, you’ll follow the new process.

Need to contact a SHOP registered broker? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help with your SHOP enrollment.


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