What is SHOP?
So many small business owners want to provide affordable healthcare coverage for their employees but they struggle to meet this desire in a world of ever-rising premiums. When 2014 begins, business owners will be able to discover and access information through the Small Business Health Insurance Options Program (also known as SHOP). This will streamline the process for finding employee coverage in an easy and online marketplace.
What kinds of plans will be available?
Private insurance companies will be listing their offered coverage much like small group plans are managed currently. The plans will be easily laid out to explain the details of the various plans so that you can compare them side by side and determine the best option for your business.
Will there be people available to assist me in my decisions?
Although the goal of the new marketplace is to make finding plans easier, there are still some details or questions that might be raised going through the process. Thankfully, there will be licensed agents (just like before) to help you make your decisions. Working with an agent, you’ll benefit from their years of experience in finding solutions for small business clients and their understanding of policy mechanics. You’ll be able to walk through the process and know which level of coverage you’ll be providing and how much you’ll be contributing towards employee coverage.
Are there any tax benefits?
Getting insurance through SHOP allows you to get tax credits, including up to 50% of the employer-contributed premium costs for those with lower or middle wage employees.