Who’s eligible?

The Small Business Health Options Program offers health insurance choices to small businesses and their employees. The program is designed specifically for employers with up to 50 full time equivalent (FTE) employees. Click here to find out if you qualify for this requirement.

In order to use the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace to offer health insurance to your employees, your business must meet all of these requirements:

  • You must have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Use the FTE Calculator to see if you qualify based on how SHOP counts FTEs.
  • You must offer coverage to all your full-time employees — generally workers averaging 30 or more hours per week. You don’t have to offer coverage to part-time employees — generally those averaging less than 30 hours per week or seasonal employees. (You can offer coverage to part-timers if you want to.)
  • In most states, at least 70% of the employees you offer insurance to must either enroll in your plan or have coverage from another source. Use the SHOP Minimum Participation Rate Calculator to see how many of your employees must accept your offer.
    • If you don’t meet your minimum participation requirement, you can enroll in SHOP coverage between November 15 and December 15 any year. During this period you can enroll without meeting a minimum participation requirement.
  • You must have an office or employee work site within the state whose SHOP Marketplace you want to use. See what to do if your business operates in multiple states.

Non-profit organizations can also use the SHOP Marketplace if they meet all the requirements.