Enrolling in the Marketplace

Here’s a quick look at how you’ll create an employee health insurance coverage offer using the SHOP Marketplace.

Remember, you can work with an insurance agent or broker or handle everything yourself. Learn about working with an agent or broker.

Create an account and fill out an application

  • First you’ll create a HealthCare.gov account. (If you already have one, use it. Don’t create a new HealthCare.gov account just for SHOP.)
  • Next you’ll start the SHOP application and fill out some basic information. You’ll immediately get a notice saying if you’re eligible.

Ready to create a HealthCare.gov account? Visit this page, select your state, and click the “Apply Now” button. We’ll take you to create an account and start the SHOP application.

Make decisions about your health insurance offer

Now the SHOP Marketplace application will walk you through the screens to create your coverage offer.

Choices you’ll make along the way include:

  • Whether to offer your employees one plan or a choice of plans
  • Whether to offer coverage to part-time employees
  • Whether to offer medical coverage, dental coverage, or both
  • How much of your employees’ premiums you’ll pay
  • Whether to offer coverage to dependents
  • When coverage starts
  • How long new employees must wait before they get a coverage offer

Then you’ll compare SHOP health insurance plans based on price, benefits, and features to find coverage that works for your business and your employees.

Make your insurance offer and track employee acceptance

After you complete your offer, the SHOP Marketplace will send an email to employees you’re offering coverage to.

In order to offer SHOP coverage, a certain percentage of your employees must accept it. Learn about minimum participation rates.

Enroll and pay your first premium

  • After you’ve met your employee participation requirement, submit your enrollment.
  • If you enroll by the 15th of any month, your coverage can start the first day of the next month.
  • You’ll need to pay your first month’s premium immediately to be sure your employee coverage starts on time.
    • You’ll pay your premium to the SHOP Marketplace, not your insurance company.
    • An agent or broker can’t make your payment for you.