About SHOP

SHOP stands for Small Business Health Options Program. The SHOP Marketplace was created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to offer employers a choice of group health insurance and dental plans and tools for making informed choices. Through SHOP quailed small businesses can also receive health insurance tax credits.

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC) is helping small business owners know their options under healthcare reform. For information and assistance call Brad Zaba at 803-252-5733 or email him at brad@scsbc.org. If a small business owner would like to have an insurance agent/broker assist them (at no charge) in exploring health insurance options including SHOP, the SCSBCC has a list of qualified agents/brokers available.

You can also call the SHOP Small Employer Call Center at 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 711). Agents and brokers helping small businesses can use this phone number too.

Important Facts About SHOP Coverage For Your Business

  • You can offer employee coverage through SHOP if you have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees but at least one common law employee. All full-time employees (average 30 or more hours per week) must be offered coverage.
  • Qualified small employers (for-profit or tax-exempt) have access to the enhanced Small Business Health Care Tax Credit—now worth up to 50% of a for-profit employer’s premium contributions and up to 35% of a tax-exempt employer’s premium contribution (taken against payroll taxes).
  • An agent or broker can help you and your employees enroll in SHOP coverage. There is no additional cost to small employers for using an agent or broker.
  • Small employers can claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit only for coverage purchased through the SHOP Marketplace.
  • You may enroll in SHOP coverage at any time, before filling out an application. But if you’re interested in taking advantage of the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit, you are recommended to submit your SHOP eligibility application within a week of enrolling in SHOP coverage. Regardless of the eligibility determination, you should be able to keep your coverage once enrolled. The eligibility application is used only to determine eligibility for the tax credit.
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