Last year, we showed readers how to get affordable health insurance in New York under the Affordable Care Act. This year, the same legislation introduced the Small Business Options Program (SHOP), known as the Small Business Marketplace in New York State. What this means it that if you’re a small business, you can offer coverage to your employees directly through the marketplace (and yourself as the business owner) with employer tax credits that aren’t offered through the individual exchange. Offering health insurance, especially affordable plans, is a great incentive to attract and retain employees in a competitive market.

For those looking for information, EmblemHealth has partnered with business organizations in New York City on an initiative to educate small business owners on SHOP and how it works. The Health Care Reform Hub, an online platform, offers everything a small business owner needs to know about SHOP. One of the many tools is a Tax Calculator to help business owners to check what tax credits their business might be eligible for.

Some points to keep in mind as you explore the options:


If you’re a company with fewer than 50 employees and have a primary business address in New York state, you’re eligible for small business health insurance. After comparing plans via SHOP and selecting what you’d like to offer, SHOP will notify your employees for enrollment. You can enroll anytime, with coverage starting at the beginning of the next available month.

Tax Benefits

Your business might get tax credits up to 50% of your contribution to employee premiums. You can check whatyour business qualifes for using the Tax Calculator

You may qualify to receive tax credits worth up to 50% of your contribution to employee premiums. To find out if your small business qualifies, you can use the simple tax credit calculator.

Control Your Costs

SHOP standardizes cost-sharing so employers can choose to contribute a fixed amount or percentage to their employees’ premiums.

Flexibility for Your Employees

The platinum, gold, silver and bronze levels introduced under the Affordable Care Act offer the same benefits with different premiums and out-of-pocket costs. As an employer, you can offer any plan from any insurer, or limit the options based on your determination on what plans are best suited to their needs and where they live. And even without the levels, the premiums and out-of-pocket costs can vary wildly between insurance plans, so it’s important to compare plans, which you can do using the Health Care Reform Hub.

To learn more about SHOP, check out the Health Care Reform Hub or see what tax breaks you’ll get using the and the tax credit calculator.

This is a sponsored article. While the views expressed here are our own, we have received compensation from EmblemHealth to review information.