To apply for SHOP coverage online, follow these steps.
For more detailed instructions, download our 5 Steps to Apply for SHOP Coverage fact sheet (PDF).
Step 1: Create a Marketplace account & fill out a SHOP application
Visit the small business employers page, select your state, and choose the “Apply Now” button. You’ll be taken to the “Create an Account” page. You’ll set up a profile and verify your identity by answering a few questions that only you can answer.
- Select the employer application. When you get to a page titled “Where would you like to go?” select the “Visit Employer Marketplace” button.
- Get help from an agent or broker if you like. Select “Get Assistance” to search by Zip code for an agent or broker registered to work with the SHOP in your area. If you already work with an agent or broker, you can enter their name and National Producer Number (NPN), if available.
- Fill out the SHOP application. You’ll provide basic employer information like organization name, address, tax ID, and primary contact details. Then verify that your business meets all SHOP eligibility requirements. You’ll get a SHOP eligibility determination.
- Create an employee roster. You can do this 2 ways:
- Enter your employees one at a time on the employee roster page.
- Download the SHOP Excel roster template, fill it out with your employees’ information, and upload it.
Step 2: Create your enrollment criteria
Set your enrollment period, the effective date of coverage, and the new employee waiting period. You’ll also decide whether to offer your employees one plan or a choice of plans.
Step 3: Set your premium contribution
Decide how much you want to contribute toward employee premiums. You’ll also decide if you’ll offer and contribute to dependent coverage and a dental plan.
Step 4: Select coverage & make an offer to employees
Now you’ll compare plans and choose one (or, if you’re offering more than one plan, you’ll choose a plan category, like Silver or Gold). Learn more about choosing a plan that works for your business and your employees.
If you offer dental coverage, compare dental plans and choose one.
Step 5: Track employee participation & submit your enrollment
After you submit your coverage offer, the SHOP Marketplace will send an email to all employees whose email addresses you put on your application. The email includes your participation code and a link to the SHOP website where employees can accept or decline the offer.
Important: You’re responsible for making sure all your employees get information about how to enroll in SHOP coverage.
You can track employee decisions online. After you’ve met your employee participation requirement, submit your enrollment. Pay your first month’s premium. If you enroll by the 15th of any month, your coverage starts the first day of the next month.
For questions and help with SHOP coverage, call 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 711) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Agents and brokers helping small businesses with SHOP coverage can use this number too.