COVID-19 relief options and additional resources

Calling All Small Business Owners: Affordable, Quality Health Coverage for your Employees

Release Date: 
Friday, July 1, 2016
Release Number: 
SCR 16-31
Darla Booker | | 817-684-5534

By Yolanda Garcia Olivarez

South Central Regional Administrator

U.S. Small Business Administration


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is producing record benefits for our country, our citizens and our small businesses.  Today, more than 20 million people have gained health insurance coverage because of the ACA, and more than 6 million uninsured young adults have gained health insurance coverage since 2010.  Our nnation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever.

Research shows that for small business owners, being able to offer health insurance for employees is a high priority. Even so, you may be confused – about how to control costs while offering quality coverage, which policies to choose for your employees and how to enroll. Understanding the ins and outs of insurance can be hard. The SHOP Marketplace is here to help.

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP Marketplace) is the Health Insurance Marketplace for Small Businesses created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Through SHOP, small businesses with 1 to 50 employees can find affordable, high-quality private health and dental coverage.

Why might SHOP be a good option for you?

One of the biggest advantages of enrolling in health coverage through the SHOP Marketplace is that you could be eligible for a tax credit to make offering coverage more affordable. Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees may be eligible for a tax credit worth up to 50% of premium costs.

Another key feature of the SHOP Marketplace is the choice and flexibility it offers for employers. You can choose one high quality, private health insurance plan, or you can give your employees the option to select from a variety of plans. You can also decide what types of coverage to offer (health, dental, or both) and whether to offer dependent coverage.  It’s your choice – you decide what works for the needs of your employees and your bottom line.

Still, you might have questions about how to navigate the process. The good news is you can get help. SBA, together with HHS and the Small Business Majority will present ACA 101 Webinars on June 23, July 7 and July 21, to provide more details and answer your questions.  Visit to sign up.

Finally, registered agents and brokers are available at no cost to advise you about the options available. They can fill you in on all the essential details, whether the tax credit requirements or coverage options. They’ll even walk you through the actual enrollment process itself.

But here’s the best news of all. To find out more about the benefits of the SHOP Marketplace, all you have to do is go to

Yolanda Garcia Olivarez oversees U.S. SBA programs and services in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.