The federal healthcare marketplace for businesses is always open for business.
Enrollment in healthcare plans is year-round under the Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOP), which was created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for employers with one-to-50 workers.
The ACA created the SHOP program to address the lack of health insurance availability to employees of small firms. Even when insurance was offered, it didn’t offer a choice of plans or the range of benefits larger employers offered. Only 57 percent of small businesses offer health insurance benefits.
SHOP makes it easier for employers to compare health plans and give employees (and their family members) coverage choices. The ACA also offers firms tax credits.
Though still relatively small, the program has succeeded with small urban start-ups and not-for-profit organizations. In spring 2017, the federal government reported that SHOP had enrolled 232,698 employees from 27,205 firms, most through state-run SHOP programs.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida has federally licensed navigators that specialize in SHOP policies and are ready to assist small businesses in enrolling employees. An employer can call the EFOF navigation office at 1-877-553-7453 to make an appointment to find out more about the program.
See if your firm qualifies for the SHOP program: https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/
WATCH this informative video that provides an overview of the SHOP Marketplace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWPCSXmxX68
Learn more about the success and challenges of the SHOP program in the U.S. at http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2017/jul/talking-shop-small-business-marketplaces-california-colorado