Online enrollment for small employers to purchase employee health coverage through the federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplace (Small Business Health Options Program) is expected to open on November 15, 2014. Small employers may work with their current agent or broker to apply for and enroll in coverage, so long as the agent or broker has completed the SHOP registration requirements.
Using the SHOP Marketplace
To work with an agent or broker in the federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplace, an employer must create an authorization with the agent or broker within the SHOP Marketplace. The authorization will allow the agent or broker to help the employer fill out the SHOP application and manage the employer’s SHOP account.
Agents and brokers can assist small employers with:
- Determining if their businesses have 50 or fewer employees and are eligible for SHOP;
- Applying for insurance for their employees;
- Reviewing and comparing price, coverage, quality, and other important features of available SHOP plans;
- Enrolling in the SHOP plan the employer chooses; and
- Understanding eligibility for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
Employers located in a state operating its own SHOP Marketplace must follow that state’s application and enrollment process.
Employers Must Provide Exchange Notice to All New Employees.
All employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to provide new employees with a notice regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace (also called the Exchange), regardless of whether the employer offers a health plan. The notice must be distributed to each new employee within 14 days of his or her start date.