Small Businesses & the State Exchanges
The State Insurance Exchanges (Marketplaces) provide an opportunity for small businesses to offer insurance to their employees like larger companies. A provision of the exchanges, the Small Options Program (SHOP), will provide way small business employers to choose from a range of plans they want to offer and decide on a contribution toward the coverage; employees then select the plans that best meets their needs and resources. Employers can offer plans from several insurance companies, but will receive a single bill and write a single check.
Small employers participating in SHOP may be eligible for a tax credit of up to 50% of their premium payments if they have 25 or fewer employees, pay employees an average annual wage of less than $50,000, offer all full time employees coverage, and pay at least 50% of the premium. Employees offered affordable, quality health insurance by their employer, however, are not eligible for premium credits for coverage purchased through the Exchange.