Small Business Employers

Quality Coverage for Your Employees

Offering health benefits is a major decision for businesses. Virginia’s Insurance Marketplace makes it easy for you to find a plan that fits your needs through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).

small business owners

What is SHOP?

SHOP is a resource for small business employers who want to provide health insurance to their employees. If your business is eligible for SHOP, you don’t have to wait for an Open Enrollment Period to enroll in a plan. You can start offering SHOP coverage to your employees anytime. Enrolling in a SHOP plan is the only way a small business or nonprofit can claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. This tax credit can be worth up to 50% of the costs you pay for your employees’ premiums. 

SHOP plans are options for small employers to provide health and/or dental insurance to their employees. Explore plans or connect with an agent today to secure coverage.

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SHOP Overview

  • SHOP coverage can be purchased for your employees at any time of the year.
  • Premiums charged cannot be adjusted more frequently than annually, except that the premium rate may be changed to reflect changes to (i) the family composition of the member, (ii) the coverage requested by the member, or (iii) the geographic location of the member.
  • No coverage may be offered only to certain eligible employees or their dependents and no employees or their dependents may be excluded or charged additional premiums because of health status. All products that are approved for sale in the small group market that the health insurance issuer is actively marketing must be offered to all small employers, and the health insurance issuer must accept any employer that applies for any of those products.
  • A health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in a small group market through a network plan may limit the employers that may apply for such coverage to those eligible individuals who live, work, or reside in the service area for such network plan.