Health Insurance for Small Businesses
The Affordable Care Act didn’t just make life easier for individuals; the ACA also includes provisions to simplify the health insurance process for small businesses. It’s now easier to shop for health insurance for companies, and small businesses also have access to a health care tax credit that makes health insurance more affordable.
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)
The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, is a special way for small businesses to purchase health insurance coverage through the state Health Benefits Exchange. It’s the small business equivalent of the individual Health Insurance Marketplace, where businesses can compare plans, choose their coverage and decide how much they’ll cover.
Choose Your Level of Coverage and Contributions
With SHOP, you can browse the marketplace, compare plans and select the level of coverage you want to offer your employees. You get to define how much you’ll contribute toward your employees’ coverage. Businesses can select a single plan to offer all employees, or businesses can allow employees to choose from several plans at a given level. SHOP is designed to streamline the process of selecting and administering health insurance for small businesses.
Access to the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
In addition to the streamlined shopping process, small businesses have access to a special health care tax credit. This tax credit covers as much as 50% of the employer contribution cost for small businesses – those with fewer than 25 full-time employees – whose workers’ wages average less than $50,000 annually. This makes health insurance much more affordable for small businesses.
If you’ve been thinking about shopping for health insurance for companies, the process just got easier. Check out your state’s local Health Insurance Exchange SHOP for your small business health insurance needs.
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