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New Guide: Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs)

Compare your options for offering HRAs or group coverage.

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How to offer SHOP health insurance to your employees

Health insurance plans offered through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) are quality, affordable health and dental insurance coverage for small businesses and their employees. SHOP plans are offered by private insurance companies, cover essential health benefits , and may not exclude coverage for treatments for pre-existing conditions .

Ready to enroll in SHOP coverage?

You’ll either work with a SHOP-registered agent or broker or work through your insurance company. This may be different from how you have enrolled in SHOP coverage in the past. Some important things to remember:

Learn more about how to enroll in SHOP insurance (PDF, 211 KB).

Making a SHOP health insurance decision

You can generally enroll in SHOP coverage year-round. To find the best plan for your business and employees, think about price, benefits, and features. You may also want to consider:

You should also check SHOP availability in your state . Some states may use their own websites for enrolling and managing SHOP coverage.

Employees may still be eligible for premium tax credits if the plan you offer isn’t considered “affordable” . Affordability is based on how much the employee pays for coverage for themselves and their dependents. If the plan isn’t affordable, the employee may enroll in a Marketplace plan instead.

Understanding SHOP insurance categories

There are 4 categories of SHOP plans to choose from. The categories have nothing to do with the quality of care. They're based on the way the cost of care will be shared between your employees and the insurance company.

Choosing a stand-alone dental plan

You can add dental coverage to your SHOP insurance offer or offer dental insurance by itself without a SHOP health plan. Some SHOP health insurance plans also include dental benefits.

As with health plans, you can choose how much of an employee’s dental premium you pay.

Talk to your insurance company or agent or broker to find out more about SHOP dental plans.

How to enroll through SHOP

You have 2 options for enrolling:

Remember, the specific enrollment steps may vary by insurance company. Talk with your insurance company or SHOP-registered agent or broker to make sure you're aware of any monthly deadlines for completing your enrollment.

Your agent, broker, or insurance company will be able to provide you with the information you and your employees will need.

Paying premiums & managing coverage

You'll pay your premiums to your insurance company, not If you need to make changes or updates to your SHOP coverage during the year, contact your agent, broker, or insurance company.

Verifying your eligibility for SHOP

You must meet certain requirements to purchase insurance through SHOP. To verify that you can enroll in SHOP coverage, use the SHOP Eligibility Determination Form .

The SHOP Eligibility Determination Form only takes a few minutes to fill out, and you’ll find out instantly if you’re eligible for SHOP insurance. Just enter some basic information about your business, certify that you meet the eligibility requirements , review your form, and submit.

Save your completed form and eligibility results for your records. Proof of SHOP eligibility may be required to enroll in SHOP coverage through an insurance company or to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit .

Note: Once you complete the SHOP Eligibility Determination Form, you should get an email that includes your SHOP eligibility results. Your eligibility results are also shown on the final page of the form.

How to renew your SHOP plan

About 45–60 days before your current SHOP coverage ends, contact your insurance company, agent, or broker to find out what plans and prices are available to you. Insurance companies may have different timelines for renewing coverage, so be sure to ask:

More Answers: How to offer SHOP health insurance to employees

For SHOP plans that start on or after January 1, 2018, you don't pick a plan, apply, or enroll through Instead, you enroll either through the insurance company or with the assistance of a Marketplace-registered agent or broker.

Generally no, but some states do require it. Check with your state's Department of Insurance.

If you do offer insurance to employee’ dependents, they can accept or reject your offer. If they decline it, they can enroll in a plan for individuals and families through the Marketplace , but they may not be eligible for savings through premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions . If they’re not eligible for such savings, they'd have to pay full price.

Yes. Dependents can get insurance for individuals and families through the Marketplace , if they are otherwise eligible. Depending on the entire household's income, if dependents aren’t eligible for other health coverage, they may qualify for savings through premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions.

You may still be able to enroll in a small group health plan through an agent or broker or directly with a health insurance company. However, it may not be considered SHOP coverage, and you generally will not be able to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. See what non-SHOP plans may be available to you at , or search for an agent or broker in your area .

You may also have other options for providing benefits to your employees besides traditional group coverage, such as with a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). Learn more about what other products and services may be available to you.

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The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20500

FACT SHEET: The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year   2024

Budget Details Plan to Invest in America, Lower Costs and Cut Taxes for Working Families, and Protect and Strengthen Medicare and Social Security

President Biden has long believed that we need to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, not the top down. Over the past two years, in the face of significant challenges, that economic strategy has produced historic progress for the American people.

Under the President’s leadership, the economy has added more than 12 million jobs—more jobs in two years than any president has created in a four-year term—including 800,000 manufacturing jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.4 percent, the lowest in 54 years. The Black and Hispanic unemployment rates are near record lows. The past two years were the best two years for new small business applications on record. The President has taken action to lower costs and give families more breathing room, including cutting prescription drug costs, health insurance premiums, and energy bills, while driving the uninsured rate to historic lows. And the President’s plan is rebuilding America’s infrastructure, making the economy more competitive, investing in American innovation and industries that will define the future, and fueling a manufacturing boom that is strengthening parts of the country that have long been left behind while creating good jobs for workers, including those without college degrees.

The President has done all of this while delivering on his commitment to fiscal responsibility. While the previous Administration passed a nearly $2 trillion unpaid-for tax cut with benefits skewed to the wealthy and big corporations while dramatically increasing the deficit, President Biden cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion during his first two years in office—the largest decline in American history. And the reforms he signed into law to take on Big Pharma, lower prescription drug costs, and make the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share will reduce the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars more over the coming decade.

The President’s Budget details a blueprint to build on this progress, deliver on the agenda he laid out in his State of the Union, and finish the job: continuing to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out by investing in America, lowering costs for families, protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security, and reducing the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share and cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests. No one earning less than $400,000 per year will pay a penny in new taxes.

Congressional Republicans have taken a very different approach. While they have consistently said that reducing the deficit is a top priority, Congressional Republicans have already proposed policies that would add an additional $3 trillion to the debt over the next decade—all while raising costs for working families and handing out tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations. As the President has made clear, they owe the American people a detailed accounting of exactly what they plan to cut in order to cover the costs of their proposals, while also achieving the kinds of fiscal targets that they claim to support. Until they produce a plan, we’re left to rely on a wide array of Republican budgets, statements, and proposals—past and present—which provide clear and consistent evidence that many critical programs the American people count on will be on the chopping block.

Lowering Costs and Giving Families More Breathing Room

As our economy transitions from a historically strong recovery to stable and steady growth, the President has remained laser-focused on continuing to lower costs for families and giving them more breathing room, without giving up the historic economic gains we’ve made. While more work remains, there are clear signs that the President’s strategy is working. Annual inflation is lower than it was seven months ago, gas prices are down $1.60 per gallon since their peak last summer, and unemployment remains at its lowest level in 54 years, while take home pay has gone up. And the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic action to lower the costs of health care, clean energy, and prescription drugs, eliminate junk fees that make it harder for families to make ends meet, promote greater competition to lower costs, and address pandemic-driven supply chain bottlenecks. While some Congressional Republicans have proposed repealing the Inflation Reduction Act and taken other actions that would raise costs for working families, the President’s Budget takes a very different approach—proposing a package of policies to continue lowering everyday costs for the American people.

Cuts Taxes for Families with Children and American Workers. The President is calling for the restoration of the full Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan, which cut child poverty in half in 2021, to the lowest level in history. The Budget would expand the credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children six years old and above, and to $3,600 per child for children under six. The Budget would also permanently reform the credit to make it fully refundable. The President also calls on the Congress to make the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion for childless workers permanent, which would help pull low-paid workers out of poverty.

Lowers Health Care Costs. The President believes that health care should be a right, not a privilege. With enrollment in affordable health coverage at an all-time high, the Budget builds on the remarkable success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), by making permanent the average $800 per year premium cuts through expanded premium tax credits that the Inflation Reduction Act extended. It also provides Medicaid-like coverage to individuals in States that have not adopted Medicaid expansion under the ACA, paired with financial incentives to ensure States maintain their existing expansions. 

Reduces Prescription Drug Costs for All Americans. The Budget builds upon the Inflation Reduction Act to continue lowering the cost of prescription drugs. For Medicare, this includes further strengthening the newly established negotiation power by extending it to more drugs and bringing drugs into negotiation sooner after they launch. The Budget also proposes to limit Medicare Part D cost-sharing for high-value generic drugs used for certain chronic conditions like hypertension and high cholesterol to no more than $2. For Medicaid, the Budget includes proposals to ensure Medicaid and CHIP programs are prudent purchasers of prescription drugs, authorizing HHS to negotiate supplemental drug rebates on behalf of interested States in order to pool purchasing power. For the commercial market, the Budget includes proposals to curb inflation in prescription drug prices and cap the prices of insulin products at $35 for a monthly prescription. 

Expands Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care. The Budget invests $150 billion over 10 years to improve and expand Medicaid home and community-based services, such as personal care services, which would allow seniors and individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes and stay active in their communities as well as improve the quality of jobs for home care workers. And because community health centers—which provide comprehensive services regardless of ability to pay—serve one in three people living in poverty and one in five rural residents, the Budget puts the Health Center Program on a path to double its size and expand its reach. To bolster the health care workforce, the Budget provides a total of $966 million in 2024 to expand the National Health Service Corps, which provides loan repayment and scholarships to health care professionals in exchange for practicing in underserved areas, and a total of $350 million to expand programs that train and support the nursing workforce.  

Expands Access to Affordable, High-Quality Early Child Care and Learning. Too many families across America cannot access high-quality, affordable child care—preventing parents from working and holding back our entire economy. The President’s Budget enables states to increase child care options for more than 16 million young children and lowers costs so that parents can afford to send their children to high-quality child care. The Budget also funds a Federal-State partnership that provides high-quality, universal, free preschool to support healthy child development and ensure children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

Lowers Housing Costs by Increasing Affordable Housing Supply and Expanding Access to Homeownership and Affordable Rent. The President believes that everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to live. To address the critical shortage of affordable housing in communities throughout the country that has exacerbated inflation, the Budget includes $59 billion in mandatory funding and tax incentives aimed at increasing the affordable housing supply, including for extremely low-income households. The Budget also includes $10 billion in mandatory funding to incentivize State, local, and regional jurisdictions to make progress in removing barriers to affordable housing developments, such as restrictive zoning. By expanding the supply of housing, the Budget would help prevent the kind of rapid increases in rental and homeownership costs we have seen in recent years. The Budget also includes $10 billion in mandatory funding for a new First-Generation Down Payment Assistance program to help address racial and ethnic homeownership and wealth gaps—making homeownership more attainable for Americans who have been locked out of the generational wealth building that can come with owning a home. And the Budget expands access to affordable rent through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program to well over 200,000 additional households. In addition to assisting all current voucher recipients and providing new vouchers for tens of thousands of additional families, the Budget includes mandatory funding to support two populations that are particularly vulnerable to homelessness—guaranteed assistance for all 20,000 youth who age out of foster care annually and an incremental expansion to cover the 450,000 extremely low-income (ELI) veteran families nationwide.

Improves College Affordability and Expands Free Community College. The Budget proposes to increase the discretionary maximum Pell Grant by $500—helping more than 6.8 million students pay for college, building on successful bipartisan efforts to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $900 over the past two years, and laying out a path to double the award by 2029. The Budget also invests mandatory and discretionary funding to expand free community college, and provides mandatory funding for two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a participating four-year Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Tribally-Controlled College or University (TCCU), or Minority-Serving Institution (MSI). 

Lowers Home Energy and Water Costs. The Budget provides $4.1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), building on the $13 billion provided in the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce energy bills for families, expand clean energy, transform rural power production, and create thousands of good-paying jobs for people across rural America. Since the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) expires at the end of 2023, the Budget proposes to expand LIHEAP funding and allow States the option to use a portion of their LIHEAP funds to provide water bill assistance to low-income households.

Increases Food Security. As called for in the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the Budget provides over $15 billion to allow more States and schools to leverage participation in the Community Eligibility Program and provide healthy and free school meals to an additional 9 million children. The Budget also includes $6.3 billion to support the 6.5 million individuals expected to participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Protecting and Strengthening Medicare and Social Security

The President has always believed that Medicare and Social Security are a promise—a rock-solid guarantee generations of Americans have counted on to be able to retire with dignity and security. The President will reject any efforts to cut the Medicare or Social Security benefits that seniors and people with disabilities have earned and paid into their entire working lives. The Budget honors that ironclad commitment—not only by rejecting benefit cuts, but by embracing reforms and investments that will protect and strengthen both programs. The President is committed to working with Congress to ensure Medicare and Social Security remain strong for their beneficiaries, now and in the future.

Protects and Strengthens Medicare. The Budget strengthens Medicare by extending the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by at least 25 years, without cutting any benefits or raising costs for beneficiaries. The Budget includes key reforms to the tax code to ensure high-income individuals pay their fair share into the Medicare HI trust fund. It also directs the revenue from the Net Investment Income Tax into the HI trust fund as was originally intended. Finally, the Budget directs the savings from the Budget’s proposed Medicare drug reforms into the HI trust fund. 

Protects the Social Security Benefits that Americans Have Earned. The Administration is committed to protecting and strengthening Social Security and opposes any attempt to cut Social Security benefits for current or future recipients. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to responsibly strengthen Social Security by ensuring that high-income individuals pay their fair share.The Budget also invests in staff, information technology, and other improvements at the Social Security Administration, providing an increase of $1.4 billion, a 10 percent increase, over the 2023 enacted level.  These funds would improve customer service at Social Security Administration field offices, State disability determination services, and teleservice centers for retirees, individuals with disabilities, and their families.

Growing the Economy from the Bottom up and Middle Out by Investing in America and Its People

The Budget proposes smart, targeted investments to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, not the top down, by investing in America and its people—investing in the foundations of our country’s economic strength; confronting the climate crisis while creating clean energy jobs; and advancing equity, dignity, and opportunity and strengthening our democracy.

Investing in the Foundations of Our Economic Strength

Invests in American Manufacturing. The Budget provides $375 million for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Industrial Technology Services to support the progress of NIST’s existing manufacturing institute, fund a new institute to be launched in 2023, and promote domestic production of institute-developed technologies. The Budget also includes $277 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a public-private partnership that offers advisory services to small and medium enterprises.

Makes Historic Investments in Innovation and Cutting-Edge Research. The Budget provides almost $21 billion in discretionary spending for CHIPS and Science Act-authorized activities. This funding includes $1.2 billion for the CHIPS and Science Act-authorized Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships to help accelerate and translate scientific research into innovations, industries, and jobs, as well as $300 million for NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines program to galvanize use-inspired research, technology translation, and workforce development. Within DOE’s Office of Science, the Budget also supports cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, microelectronics, and isotope production at the national laboratories and universities. In addition, the Budget requests $4 billion in new mandatory funding for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program at the Economic Development Administration. And the Budget provides $210 billion for Federal research and development, an historic level of investment in American science, technology and innovation.

Provides National, Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave and Calls for Paid Sick Leave for All Workers. Workers power our economy—and when they thrive, our economy thrives. The Budget proposes to establish a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, providing up to 12 weeks of leave to allow eligible workers to take time off to care for and bond with a new child; care for a seriously ill loved one; heal from their own serious illness; address circumstances arising from a loved one’s military deployment; or find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The President also calls on Congress to require employers to provide seven job-protected paid sick days each year to all workers.

Expands Workforce Training that Provides Pathways to Good Jobs. The Budget invests in evidence-based training models to ensure all workers—including women, workers of color, and workers in rural areas—have the skills they need for the good jobs being created by the President’s historic legislative accomplishments. The Budget invests $335 million in Registered Apprenticeship, an earn-and-learn model, to provide debt-free pathways to careers in construction, clean energy, semiconductor manufacturing, and other in-demand industries. The Budget also provides $200 million for the new Sectoral Employment through Career Training for Occupational Readiness (SECTOR) program, which will support development and expansion of public-private partnerships to equitably deliver high-quality training in growing industries, and invests $100 million to help community colleges partner with employers and the public workforce system to design and deliver effective training models in communities across the Nation.

Invests in High-Poverty Schools. The Budget provides $20.5 billion for Title I, a $2.2 billion increase above the 2023 enacted level, delivering critical funding to 90 percent of school districts across the Nation and helping them provide students in low-income communities the academic opportunities and support they need to succeed. This increase in funding addresses chronic funding gaps between high-poverty schools—which disproportionately serve students of color—and their wealthier counterparts.  

Taking Historic Action to Cut Energy Bills for Families and Confront the Climate Crisis While Creating Clean Energy Jobs Across America

Cuts Energy Bills for Families and Creates Jobs Building Clean Energy Infrastructure. The Budget invests $4.5 billion in clean energy across America, bringing jobs to rural communities and cities, leaving no one behind. The Budget supports clean energy workforce development and sustainable infrastructure projects across the country, including $1.8 billion to weatherize and retrofit low-income Americans’ homes, and $83 million to electrify Tribal homes and transition Tribal Colleges and universities to renewable energy.

Makes Historic Investments in Science & Research to Continue to Cut the Cost of Clean Energy. To boost American innovation and sustain American leadership in research and scientific discovery, the Budget also provides a historic investment of $16.5 billion in climate science and clean energy innovation. The Budget includes $3.5 billion of the $8.8 billion total for DOE’s Office of Science and $1.6 billion at NSF, and makes advancements toward the CHIPS and Science Act authorizations, including $1 billion for fusion, the largest ever investment in the promise of a clean energy power source.

Cuts Global Warming Pollution. The Budget invests in reducing global warming pollution and achieving the President’s target to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50-52 percent by 2030. These investments include an additional $64.4 million at EPA to implement the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act and continue phasing out potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The Budget supports $1.2 billion in DOE industrial decarbonization activities.

Helps Increase Climate Resilience and Bolsters Conservation. The Budget invests more than $24 billion to help build communities’ resilience to floods, wildfires, storms, extreme heat, and drought brought on by climate change, expand conservation and ecosystem management, strengthen America’s natural disaster response capabilities, increase the resilience of rural housing to the impacts of climate change while reducing rent burdens, and ensure the resilience of our nation’s defense to climate change.

Advances Equity and Environmental Justice. The Administration continues to prioritize efforts to deliver environmental justice in communities across the United States, including meeting the President’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal investments in climate and clean energy reach disadvantaged communities, including rural and Tribal communities. The Budget bolsters these efforts by investing nearly $1.8 billion at EPA across numerous programs that will support securing environmental justice for communities that bear the brunt of toxic pollution and climate change. The Budget also provides EPA $219 million to help remediate lead contamination in water, an increase of $163 million over the 2023 enacted level.

Increases Global Energy Security, Infrastructure, and Resilience. The Budget supports the President’s pledges to more than quadruple international climate finance and to provide more than $3 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE). This includes a $1.6 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund and a $1.2 billion loan to the Clean Technology Fund. The Budget also advances new tools, such as loan guarantees, to re-assert U.S. leadership in the Indo-Pacific to finance energy security and infrastructure projects and reduce reliance on volatile energy supplies and prices.

Expanding Access to High-Quality Health Care and Improving Health Outcomes

Advances Maternal Health and Health Equity. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, and rates are disproportionately high for Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women. The Budget includes $471 million to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates; expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities; implement implicit bias training for health care providers; create pregnancy medical home demonstration projects; and address the highest rates of perinatal health disparities, including by supporting the perinatal health workforce. In addition, the Budget requires all States to provide continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum, eliminating gaps in health insurance at a critical time.

Advances Cancer Moonshot Goals. The Cancer Moonshot aims to reduce the cancer death rate by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people who are living with or have survived cancer, their families, and caregivers. The Budget includes $1.7 billion for dedicated Cancer Moonshot activities across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in addition to targeted investments at the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Agriculture, and other Cancer Cabinet agencies, and a total investment of $7.8 billion at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to drive progress on ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer. The Budget also provides an increase of $1 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), for a total of $2.5 billion, to drive innovative health research and speed the implementation of breakthroughs that would transform the treatment, prevention, and early detection of cancer and other diseases.

Transforms Behavioral Health Care. The United States is facing a mental health crisis. While recently enacted legislation takes significant steps to address this crisis, much more can be done. For people with private health insurance, the Budget expands coverage of mental health benefits and strengthens the network of behavioral health providers. For people with Medicare, the Budget lowers patients’ costs for mental health services, requires parity in coverage between behavioral health and medical benefits, and expands coverage for behavioral health providers. The Budget provides historic investments in the behavioral health workforce, youth mental health care, Certified Community Based Behavioral Health Clinics, Community Mental Health Centers, and mental health research.

Making Our Communities Safer, Advancing Equity and Opportunity, and Strengthening American Democracy

Invests in Federal Law Enforcement, Community Violence Interventions, and Prevention to Combat Gun Violence and Other Violent Crime. The Budget continues to fund the President’s comprehensive Safer America Plan, including funding to put 100,000 additional police officers on our streets for accountable, community-oriented policing; $19.4 billion over 10 years for crime prevention strategies; and $5 billion over 10 years for community violence interventions. The Budget also includes $17.8 billion for DOJ law enforcement, including a total of nearly $2 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to expand multijurisdictional gun trafficking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the firearms industry, and implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The Budget also includes $1.9 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service to support personnel dedicated to fighting violent crime, as well as $51 million to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to support the continued implementation of enhanced background checks required by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

Prioritizes Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence. The Budget proposes $1 billion to support implementation of programs through the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which was recently reauthorized and strengthened in 2022. The Budget supports substantial increases for longstanding VAWA programs, including key investments in legal assistance for victims, transitional housing, and sexual assault services. The Budget also includes $519 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA) program and the National Domestic Violence Hotline to support domestic violence survivors—double the 2023 enacted level.

Advances Child and Family Well-Being in the Child Welfare System. The Budget proposes to expand and incentivize the use of evidence-based foster care prevention services to keep families safely together and reduce the number of children entering foster care. The Budget provides States with support to place more foster children with relatives or other adults who have an existing emotional bond with the children, while also providing additional funding to support youth who age out of care without a permanent caregiver. In addition, the Budget proposes to make the adoption tax credit refundable and to extend the credit to legal guardianships. This would reduce the financial burden on low- and moderate-income families wishing to pursue adoption, as well as for families who opt for legal guardianship.

Strengthens Our Democracy. To continue efforts to restore and strengthen American democracy, the Budget proposes $5 billion in new election assistance funding to be allocated over 10 years, $1.5 billion to support increasing the living allowance provided to AmeriCorps members so that national service is a more accessible pathway to success, and $73 million to support American history and civics education programs.

Keeping America Safe and Confronting Global Challenges

Even as he has taken decisive action to strengthen America at home, the President has worked with allies and partners to confront pressing global challenges. The Budget builds on that progress through proposals to continue addressing threats to global security and strengthening the U.S. military, addressing pressing global challenges, strengthening border security and the U.S. immigration system, and honoring America’s commitment to veterans, servicemembers, families, caregivers, and survivors.

Supports Ukraine, European Allies, and Partners. The Budget continues support for Ukraine, the United States’ strong alliance with the states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and other European partner states by prioritizing funding to enhance the capabilities and readiness of U.S. forces, NATO allies, and regional partners in the face of continued Russian aggression.

Invests in New Ways to Out-Compete China and Deepens Alliances and Partnerships in the Indo-Pacific. China is the United States’ only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it. During these unprecedented and extraordinary times, the Budget requests both discretionary and mandatory resources to out-compete China and advance American prosperity globally. The mandatory proposal will strengthen the U.S. role in the Indo-Pacific, and advance the U.S. economy by investing $2 billion to create a new International Infrastructure Fund to support “hard” critical infrastructure; $2 billion to create a new equity revolving fund at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to support equity investments; and $2 billion to make game-changing investments in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen partner economies and support their efforts in pushing back against predatory efforts. As part of this mandatory proposal, the Budget also requests a total of $7.1 billion over the next 20 years for the Compacts of Free Association with the Freely Associated States of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau.

Promotes Integrated Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific and Globally. The Budget prioritizes China as America’s pacing challenge in line with the 2022 National Defense Strategy. The Department of Defense’s 2024 Pacific Deterrence Initiative highlights $9.1 billion of targeted investments the Department is making to U.S. force posture, infrastructure, presence, and readiness as well as efforts to bolster the capacity and capabilities of U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

Strengthens Democracy and Promotes Human Rights Globally. The Budget provides more than $3.4 billion to advance democratic governance and foster democratic renewal globally. The Budget would strengthen free and independent media, fight corruption, bolster democratic institutions, advance technology for democracy, promote gender equality and women’s civic and political participation, and defend free and fair elections and political processes.

Enhances Border Security and Immigration Enforcement. Strengthening border security and providing safe, lawful pathways for migration remain top priorities for the Administration. The Budget includes nearly $25 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Budget includes funds for CBP to hire an additional 350 Border Patrol Agents, $535 million for border technology at and between ports of entry, $40 million to combat fentanyl trafficking and disrupt transnational criminal organizations, and funds to hire an additional 460 processing assistants at CBP and ICE.

Expands Health Care, Benefits, and Services for Military Environmental Exposures. The PACT Act represents the most significant expansion of VA health care and disability compensation benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and other environmental exposures in more than 30 years. As part of the PACT Act, the Congress authorized the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund (TEF) to fund increased costs above 2021 funding levels for health care and benefits delivery for veterans exposed to a number of environmental hazards—and ensure there is sufficient funding available to cover these costs without shortchanging other elements of veteran medical care and benefit delivery. The Budget provides $20.3 billion for the TEF in 2024, which is $15.3 billion above the 2023 enacted level.

Reducing Deficits by Nearly $3 Trillion by Making the Wealthy and Big Corporations Pay Their Fair Share and Cutting Wasteful Spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Special Interests

After inheriting historically high deficits from the previous Administration, President Biden told the American people he would reduce the deficit, pay for his proposals, and ensure that no one making less than $400,000 a year would pay a penny more in new taxes. That’s exactly what he has done—and exactly what he will continue to do.

The President’s Budget builds on the record-breaking deficit reduction he achieved during his first two years in office. It more than fully pays for its investments, reduces deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share and cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests, and ensures that no one making less than $400,000 per year will pay a penny more in new taxes.

The Budget reflects the President’s ironclad belief that we need a tax system that rewards work, not wealth—and that ensures the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations don’t pay lower tax rates than teachers or firefighters. That’s in sharp contrast with Congressional Republicans, who in recent months have proposed policies that would add $3 trillion to the debt over the next decade while handing out tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations.

Building on the progress the President has already made to promote a fairer tax code, the Budget proposes additional reforms that would ensure the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share while cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests.

Proposes a Minimum Tax on Billionaires. The tax code currently offers special treatment for the types of income that wealthy people enjoy. While the wages and salaries that everyday Americans earn are taxed as ordinary income, billionaires make their money in ways that are taxed at lower rates, and sometimes not taxed at all. This special treatment, combined with sophisticated tax planning and giant loopholes, allows many of the wealthiest Americans to pay lower rates on their full income than many middle-class households pay. To finally address this glaring problem, the Budget includes a 25 percent minimum tax on the wealthiest 0.01 percent.

Ensures Corporations Pay Their Fair Share. The Budget includes an increase to the rate that corporations pay in taxes on their profits. Corporations received an enormous tax break in 2017, cutting effective U.S. tax rates for U.S. corporations to a low of less than 10 percent. While their profits soared, their investment in the economy did not. Their shareholders and top executives reaped the benefits, without the promised trickle down to workers, consumers, or communities. The Budget would set the corporate tax rate at 28 percent, still well below the 35 percent rate that prevailed prior to the 2017 tax law. This tax rate change is complemented by other proposals to incentivize job creation and investment in the United States and ensure large corporations pay their fair share.

Stops the Race to the Bottom in International Corporate Tax and End Tax Breaks for Offshoring. For decades, countries have competed for multinational business by slashing tax rates, at the expense of having adequate revenues to finance core services. Thanks in part to the Administration’s leadership, more than 130 nations signed on to a global tax framework to finally address this race to the bottom. Building on that framework, the Budget proposes to reform the international tax system to reduce the incentives to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions, stop corporate inversions to tax havens, and raise the tax rate on U.S. multinationals’ foreign earnings from 10.5 percent to 21 percent. These reforms will ensure that profitable multinational corporations pay their fair share.

Quadruples the Stock Buybacks Tax. Last year, the President signed into law a surcharge on corporate stock buybacks, which reduces the differential tax treatment between buybacks and dividends and encourages businesses to invest and grow as opposed to funneling tax-preferred profits to foreign shareholders. The Budget proposes quadrupling the stock buybacks tax from one percent to four percent to address the continued tax advantage for buybacks and encourage corporations to invest in productivity and the broader economy.

Repeals Trump Tax Cuts for the Wealthy and Reform Capital Gains Tax to Ensure the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share. The 2017 tax law lowered rates for the wealthiest Americans, delivering massive tax cuts to the top one percent. The Budget repeals the Trump tax cuts for the highest-income Americans, restoring the top tax rate of 39.6 percent for single filers making more than $400,000 a year and married couples making more than $450,000 per year. It also proposes taxing capital gains at the same rate as wage income for those with more than $1 million in income and finally closes the carried interest loophole that allows some wealthy investment fund managers to pay tax at lower rates than their secretaries.

Cuts Wasteful Spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Other Special Interests, Combats Fraud, and Makes Programs More Efficient. The Budget puts forward reforms that cut wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests, crack down on fraud, and strengthen program integrity—saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. For example, the Budget cuts Federal spending by $160 billion—and saves billions of dollars for seniors—by increasing the number of drugs Medicare can select for negotiation and bringing more drugs into the negotiation process sooner, building on the Inflation Reduction Act’s reforms. It also includes a package of reforms to crack down on systemic fraud—combatting identity theft and other fraud in Unemployment Insurance, increasing funding for the Anti-Pandemic Fraud Strike Force, and investing in Inspectors General.

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SHOP Resources

When assisting small employers with Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) health insurance, agents and brokers can work with insurance companies to help employers enroll, manage coverage, and pay premiums.

Enrolling in SHOP

Small businesses and non-profits can enroll in a SHOP plan through an insurance company or with the help of an agent or broker. Small employers do not enroll using

Small employers that are new to SHOP insurance will need to verify their eligibility using the eligibility determination form  at also offers important online SHOP resources for agents and brokers, and small employers.

For more information on SHOP plans and other coverage options for small businesses, visit the  small business section.

Registering for SHOP

Agents and brokers must still register to sell SHOP insurance.

Key SHOP Resources

For additional SHOP resources, visit:

SHOP Call Center:

Contact the SHOP Call Center at 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 1-888-201-6445)

Resources for Agents and Brokers


Important Information Before You Apply

Children can apply for coverage any time during the year. Low-income adults who may be eligible for Medicaid or the Essential Plan can also apply at any time during the year.(Visit here to see if you are eligible.)

If you are applying for Qualified Health Plan coverage, you may enroll online, by phone, or with an enrollment assistor on or before January 31, 2021.

NY State of Health has opened a time-limited exceptional circumstances Special Enrollment Period for other individuals and families to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan due to the ongoing public health emergency caused by the COVID-19. Once you complete your online application, please call Customer Service at 1-855-355-5777.

Other individuals and families can apply for coverage in a Qualified Health Plan only during the Open Enrollment Period which begins November 1 every year, unless they have a life event, such as loss of coverage, marriage or birth of a child, that qualifies them for a Special Enrollment Period .Individuals must apply within 60 days of the Qualifying Life Event.

Individuals & Families

Attention: Individuals and Families interested in the Individual Marketplace Open enrollment for 2014 ended on March 31st. Individuals and families can enroll in coverage if they qualify for a special enrollment period. Click here to learn more. Individuals eligible for Medicaid or Child Health Plus and American Indians/Alaskan Natives can enroll at any time during the year. Attention: Small Business Owners and Employees interested in the Small Business Marketplace Enrollment in the small business marketplace is available all year long. To sign up for coverage for November 1st you must enroll by September 30th. Already enrolled? Click here for information about using your coverage.

Atención: Las personas y las familias interesadas en el mercado Individual El periodo de inscripción abierta para el 2014 terminó el 31 de marzo. individuos y familias pueden inscribirse en la cobertura si califican para un período de inscripción especial. Haga clic aquí para obtener más información. Las personas elegibles para Medicaid, Child Health Plus o americanos nativos indios o de Alaska pueden inscribirse en cualquier momento durante el año. ATENCION: Propietarios de pequeños negocios y empleados interesados en el mercado de negocios pequeños Inscripción para el mercado de la pequeña empresa está disponible lo largo del año. Para inscribirse para la cobertura para el 1 de septiembre debe inscribirse por 31 de julio. ¿Ya está inscrito? Haga clic aquí para obtener información sobre cómo utilizar su cobertura.

Shop here to see what health insurance options are available to you and your family in the Individual Marketplace. You can quickly compare health plan options and apply for assistance that could lower the cost of health coverage. Individuals and families may also qualify for free or low-cost coverage from Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or the Essential Plan through the Marketplace. Anyone who needs health coverage can apply.

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Create an Account

You can create an account online though the NY.GOV site. Once you provide an email address and some information about yourself, you'll get an email invitation to the Marketplace site and can get started! You can also call the Marketplace or get help in your community to set up an account.

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Tell us about you and your family.

When you apply, you will need to provide information about each member of your family, including demographics, any health insurance you or your family already has, and your income, if you want help paying for health coverage.

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Choose a health insurance plan.

You will choose a health plan for yourself and your family members. The Marketplace will show you the health plans available to you, the benefits covered by the plans, the doctors and facilities that participate in the plan network, and the cost of enrolling in the plan. You can pick plans for yourself and all of your eligible family members whether they qualify for Medicaid, Child Health Plus, the Essential Plan, or a Qualified Health Plan through NY State of Health.

Frequently Asked Questions

News & updates, getting assistance, what is the individual marketplace.

New York State of Health, the Official Health Plan Marketplace, is a new way for people to shop for, compare and enroll in health coverage. It is also the only place to get financial assistance provided by the federal government to lower the cost of your health coverage.

To shop in the Marketplace, you:

What is available through the individual marketplace?

The Marketplace gives you an easy way to compare health insurance plans so you can choose the one that's right for your health needs and your budget. Health insurance offered through the Marketplace will include a comprehensive set of benefits and coverage.

What kind of assistance is available?

In the Marketplace, you can apply for help to lower the cost of your health coverage.

The Marketplace will also see if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage from Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus.

Enter your zip code in the View Plans Now section above to see if you qualify for financial assistance and the types of plans available to you.

What are Insurance Affordability Programs?

Insurance Affordability Programs include Medicaid, Child Health Plus, the Essential Plan, Advance Premium Tax Credits, and Cost-Sharing Reductions. The Marketplace will determine if you qualify for any of these programs, which can lower the cost of your coverage.

When can consumers enroll?

When you can enroll depends on which program you are eligible for, which is based on age, income and other factors. Enrollment is open all year if you are eligible for: Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan. You can enroll in a Qualified Health Plan during the annual Open Enrollment Period, or a Special Enrollment Period, if you are eligible.

What health insurance is available to consumers who are incarcerated?

If you are incarcerated (except for pending disposition), you are not eligible to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace. You may, however, be eligible for public health insurance programs, such as Medicaid during this time. During incarceration, Medicaid coverage is limited to inpatient hospitalizations provided off the grounds of the correctional facility. The correctional facility is responsible for all other medical care and treatment provided to you.

What if you need coverage for nursing home care?

You cannot apply for coverage of nursing home care through the Marketplace. You need to apply for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care through your local department of social services. If you need help finding contact information for your local department of social services, please call the NY State Medicaid Help Line at 1-800-541-2831 or visit the NY State Department of Health website at Please Note: If you already have coverage through Medicaid or Essential Plan through NY State of Health, you may qualify for coverage of nursing home care for a limited time through your health plan. Please contact your health plan for more information.

What if you need coverage in a Residential Treatment Facility for Children and Youth, Developmental Center or Intermediate Care Facility for the Developmentally Disabled?

A Medicaid application can be completed after you are admitted to a Residential Treatment Facility for Children and Youth, Developmental Center or Intermediate Care Facility for the Developmentally Disabled. For application assistance, please contact the director of the facility in which you are placed.

Who can get coverage through the Marketplace?

Can I give someone else permission to get information about my application?

Anyone can call us to ask general questions, but we cannot discuss specific information about your application with anyone else, unless you give us permission to do so. You can give a trusted friend, relative, partner, or lawyer permission to talk with us about your application, and to act for you on matters related to your application. This person is called an authorized representative.

What do I need to apply for coverage through the Marketplace?

We ask about income and other information about you to tell you what coverage you qualify for and if you can get help paying for it. We keep all of the information you provide private, as required by law. For everyone applying for help paying for your health insurance through the Marketplace, you may need:

What if I speak or read in a language other than English?

New York is a diverse state with many people that may speak or read in a language other than English. Call the Marketplace at 1-855-355-5777 or visit for more information or help applying for coverage in your language. All help is free.

Why do I need to provide a Social Security number (SSN)?

The Marketplace needs Social Security numbers for everyone who has one and is applying for health insurance. We use SSNs to check federal and state data sources to help speed up the application process. Providing your SSN can be helpful even if you do not want health coverage. If you don't have a SSN, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit to see if you can get a SSN and to apply for one.

Who should I include on my application?

Your income and family size help us decide what programs you qualify for. Include these people on your application for health coverage:

You do not have to file taxes to apply for health insurance coverage for the Marketplace. Anyone else who lives with you will need to file their own application if they want insurance. Not everyone has to be living at the same address to apply on the same application.

Am I eligible for health insurance if I am incarcerated?

What if i need coverage for nursing home care, what if i need coverage in a residential treatment facility for children and youth, developmental center or intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled.

There are people in your community who are trained to help you apply for health coverage, understand your coverage options, and help you to enroll in a plan that is best for you and your family. There are different ways to get help applying for health coverage through NY State of Health. You can get help with your application from:

Certified Application Counselors/Marketplace Facilitated Enrollers

Navigators are certified and trained to educate and provide enrollment assistance to individuals and small businesses through NY State of Health. They speak over 40 different languages and are available weekdays, evenings, and even on weekends. Navigators are available in convenient community-based locations in every county and all help is free. Click here to find a Navigator in your community or click here to view a directory of Navigator agencies.

Certified Application Counselors and Marketplace Facilitated Enrollers are trained to educate and provide enrollment assistance to individuals and families applying for coverage through NY State of Health. Certified Application Counselors may work for entities such as hospitals, healthcare providers, or community-based organizations. Marketplace Facilitated Enrollers work for health plans. Call 1-855-355-5777 or click here to find an assistor in your community.

"Certified brokers" are licensed professionals that have been certified by the Marketplace to provide enrollment assistance to individuals and small businesses about the health insurance options available through Marketplace. Help applying for coverage and enrolling in a plan is free. Click here to find a broker who is suited specifically to your business or familys needs.

Authorized Representative

You may have a trusted friend, relative, partner, or lawyer help you and act for you on matters related to your application. This person is called an authorized representative. You need to give permission to the Marketplace to speak with your authorized representative. Click here for information on how to name someone as your authorized representative.

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Credits & Deductions

Forms & Instructions

Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions for Employers

The Affordable Care Act, or health care law, contains benefits and responsibilities for employers. The size and structure of your workforce determines what applies to you. An employer’s size is determined by the number of its full-time employees, including full-time equivalents. 

For help with determining the size of  your workforce each year, see our page on   Determining if an Employer is an Applicable Large Employer .

Small Employers

Small employers, generally those with fewer than 50 full-time employees, may be eligible for credits and other benefits.

Large Employers

An applicable large employer, generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents.

If you have no employees, the information in the section below does not apply to you. However, other provisions, such as the insurance provider fee , or the branded prescription drug fee , may affect your organization. For a list of ACA tax provisions, visit the Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions page.

Why does the size of an employer’s workforce matter?

Certain affiliated employers with common ownership or employers that are part of a controlled group are considered part of an aggregated group . In this case, you must aggregate, or combine, your employees to determine your workforce size. Learn more on the page for Determining if an Employer is an Applicable Large Employer . 

Applicable large employers can find resources and the latest news at the Applicable Large Employer Information Center .

More Information


For Small Providers, Small Health Plans, and other Small Businesses

Smaller providers, small health plans, and other small businesses have found the links on this page to be particularly useful. However, we encourage you to review all the materials on our site.

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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201 Toll Free Call Center: 1-800-368-1019 TTD Number: 1-800-537-7697

More From Forbes three things small business owners should know.

AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

The past year has been one of the most challenging in American history, especially for small business owners. Not only was staying financially afloat difficult, but a public health crisis exacerbated the many challenges of running a small business, maintaining healthcare coverage and all that comes with it. A May Small Business for America’s Future survey of more than 1,000 small business owners found that 75% said providing health coverage to employees has increased over the last four years and nearly one in three small business owners have considered dropping coverage with the most prevalent reason being high costs. In this context, small businesses across the country may be considering what’s next. The same pandemic that created many of these challenges has also shown the importance of public health, healthcare and the new coverage options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that help small business owners and their employees access coverage. 

In fact, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made healthcare coverage accessible to millions of individuals, small business owners and their employees who otherwise could not afford it. President Biden's  American Rescue Plan (ARP) then broadened eligibility under the ACA and added tax credits for health insurance, making obtaining coverage more accessible and affordable than before. Even with these benefits, small business owners still have to navigate their diverse needs in providing coverage to employees, such as tax credits and finding the right plan, while also running a business. 

Here are three things small business owners should consider about getting coverage under the ACA. 

1. The SHOP Marketplace is Tailored to Small Businesses Health Insurance Plans

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace provides detailed guidance on the type of plans that are available through to small businesses that have less than 50 full-time employees. The plans provide quality, affordable health and dental insurance, but also give small employers a choice and flexibility in selecting the right coverage for their employees. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a resource for understanding the options available to small business owners and self-employed individuals in 36 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia using the platform .  

2. SHOP Plans are the Best Avenue for Receiving the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

The SHOP plans are also generally the only way to qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit , which can be worth up to 50% of an employer's contribution to premium costs. There are a number of requirements for obtaining the credit, but it is generally available to businesses with 25 for fewer employees who have a SHOP plan. 

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3. Self-Employed Individuals can also Purchase Plans on

Self-employed individuals such as gig workers, freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, and business owners with no employees can also purchase coverage on . For self-employed individuals who were not able to qualify for coverage in the past, it is important to note that the ARP broadened eligibility for coverage so they may now qualify. Most people currently enrolled in a Marketplace plan may qualify for more tax credits, making health insurance premiums after these new savings lower than ever before.

Small business owners often work at least 12 hours a day just to keep the lights on and operations running. Whether you are self-employed and check out the individual Marketplace or a small employer who checks out the SHOP Marketplace — it can be an easier option for them to select the right health coverage options for their business and employees and SHOP-registered agents and brokers are also available to help. Employers can visit to learn more.

Rhett Buttle

Certified partner with

Compare small business health insurance plans

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Small Business Health Insurance

Enter your ZIP code to find group health insurance options for your employees.

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Small Business Insurance Made Easy with eHealth

Shopping for health insurance plans for your small business couldn't be more simple. eHealth has a curated selection of affordable group health insurance plans from trusted carriers. Our licensed agents can provide personalized recommendations and walk you through the application and enrollment process with no pressure or expectations to enroll.

We’re your advocate

If you ever need help dealing with the health insurance company regarding claims, billing or need any assistance, we’ll be there for you.

We have the best prices

Prices are fixed by law. We will have the best prices on any health plan we sell.

We’re unbiased

We will empower you with decision making tools so that you decide what health plan is best for you.

1,300 small business health insurance plans from over 70 carriers - See insurance company info

Monthly cost starts at:

Pricing varies based on specific circumstances. Prices shown are estimated minimum rates for two 30-year-old employees with an employer contribution rate of 50% (the minimum in most states).

Can eHealth help with health reimbursement arrangements?

Yes! eHealth can guide you through the process of setting up a Individual Contribution Health Reimbursement Arrangement, also known as ICHRA . These flexible cost options offer many advantages over traditional group plans:

To learn more about your options, call 1-877-456-6670 , or click here to get a quote.

Small Business Health Insurance Basics

How does it work?

How does small business health insurance work?

Getting coverage through a small business health insurance plan can be more affordable than buying coverage by yourself. Here's what you need to know:

How much does small business health insurance cost?

An average eHealth small business plan covers 5 people and costs $1432 per month in premiums - or $286 per person.

Does my business qualify for a health insurance tax credit?

You may qualify for a tax credit that could cover some of the costs you pay for employees' premiums. This credit reimburses qualifying small businesses for up to 50% of the premiums paid toward health, dental, and vision insurance. eHealth can help you obtain your tax credit and find a small business health insurance plan that works best for you and your employees. In order to qualify:

How to choose the right small business health insurance plan

Assess your needs.

First, determine what your small business needs in a health insurance plan. Consider the following:

Compare small business health insurance options

There are a lot of factors to consider when weighing your small business health insurance options. At eHealth, we recommend using the following 5 criteria to find plans that best match your needs:

Small business health insurance enrollment process

Compare Types of Small Business Health Insurance Plans

Learn about different types of health insurance coverage options to find the plan that’s best for you and your employees. Common types of health insurance plans include:

What people are saying

eHealth makes it easy for small business owners to find the perfect plan at the lowest available cost

“Before working with eHealth I thought buying group health insurance would be difficult. I didn't expect it to be as EASY as eHealth made it. My advice, work with eHealth - it's easy.”

- MS Glass LLC , Texas

“As a busy business owner, I needed eHealth to advise me and handle my group health insurance details. eHealth is an invaluable resource. Health insurance doesn't have to be complicated. Need help? call eHealth!”

- Tabatha , Nevada

“eHealth gave me confidence that we found the most affordable health plan for our business. Call eHealth, they make it simple.”

- Cristy , Smash Marketing in Colorado

“Choosing the right health plan can be complex. eHealth helped me understand the pros/cons to each plan choice. eHealth made group health insurance EASY!”

- Paul , New Jersey

“At first I felt buying group health insurance was so confusing. But eHealth made it so much simpler. eHealth makes health insurance easy!”

- Brett , Georgia

“eHealth gave me the guidance to feel confident buying group health insurance. Don't wait, ask eHealth about Small Business health insurance.”

- Carlos , Texas

“eHealth's customer service makes group health insurance easy. At renewal time, eHealth answered all my questions and showed me all the options they offer.”

- Cindy , Texas

“eHealth gave me the support I needed to pick the right plan and complete the application. My advice, stop researching and go to eHealth for help!”

- Arthur UX , California

“I was unsure about choosing the right health plan for my business. eHealth explained all my options, honestly. eHealth gave me the assurance I needed to find the right health plan.”

- Any Screen Inc. , Colorado

“eHealth guided me to the best options in health insurance for my business. I felt very comfortable with the process and the results. I would advise friends to sign up through eHealth.”

- Elliott S. , California

“I'm advising my friends to use eHealth! The process of signing up or a group plan was simple.”

- Sarika K. , Texas

“The process of signing up for a group plan was fast and easy with eHealth. They made health insurance accessible. SIGN UP THROUGH EHEALTH!”

- Ekaterina S. , Florida

eHealth has a fabulous and effective on-boarding process.

A great agent partner makes a huge difference!

- Russell W. , Texas

“It is a breath of fresh air to work with eHealth, where the team takes customer service to the next level.”

- Varner Faddis Elite Legal , Colorado

“It's hard to even explain how much eHealth helped us. By having a conversation about my specific health insurance needs, we were able to save over $600 a month.”

- Rachel M. , Virginia

Frequently asked questions

The insurance company will determine the final monthly cost for your group health insurance plan once your application has been reviewed and approved. Costs vary based on a number of criteria, including the size and location of your company, and the ages of your employees. As part of the Affordable Care Act, the health of your employees, including pre-existing conditions, no longer impact group health insurance rates. Please note that your final monthly rate will be the same whether you apply through eHealth, another health insurance agent, or directly with the insurance company.

An average eHealth small business plan covers 5 people and costs $1,432 per month in premiums - or $286 per person.

Typically, an employer covers at least 50% of the employee's monthly premium. In these cases, the employee covers the remainder of their own premium and then covers the full premium for any of their dependents. Minimum employer contribution levels may differ from state to state and from one insurance company to the next. Also, some employers opt to cover a higher percentage of the employee's monthly premium and sometimes a portion of the premium costs for an employee's dependents.

During the application process, you'll be able to indicate how much of your employees' (and their dependents') monthly premiums you would like to cover.

Group health insurance plans don't include coverage for dental and vision, but these are often available as benefit riders that can be added to your group health insurance plan for additional fees. Once you select a group health insurance plan, you'll have the opportunity to view the additional insurance plans or riders that are available in your area.

If you already have a broker or have purchased a group health insurance plan in the past through a broker or health insurance company, eHealth can help you to maintain your current plan or find a new plan that meets your health insurance needs.

In addition:

eHealth offers over 1,300 group health insurance plans from 70+ carriers throughout the United States. Our licensed agents shop and compare products from multiple insurers to curate plans that are optimal for each company's specific needs.

Group health insurance plans are categorized as either indemnity plans (also known as "traditional indemnity," "fee-for-service," or "FFS" plans) or managed care plans. Indemnity and managed care plans differ in their basic approach. The major differences concern choice of providers, out-of-pocket costs for covered services, and how bills are paid:

With an indemnity plan, you typically have a broader choice of doctors (including specialists, such as cardiologists and surgeons), hospitals, and other health care providers.

With a managed care plan, you typically have less out-of-pocket costs and paperwork. Indemnity plans once dominated the American health insurance market, but are no longer as popular as they used to be. Managed care plans now take up a much larger share of the general health insurance market and are especially dominant in the western parts of the country. There are three basic types of managed care plans: PPOs, HMOs, and POS plans.

An ICHRA plan can enable a company to focus on their business rather than navigating the complexities of group health plans. Monthly reimbursements provided by the employers don’t count as taxable income. In most cases, ICHRA increases employee options for health coverage by allowing them to shop for plans in the individual market and select coverage that best suits them.

Here are the steps for selecting and applying for a group health insurance plan:

Businesses with fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent employees aren't required to provide health insurance to their employees and won't face tax penalties for not doing so.

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Whether you offer health insurance to employees or not, you should make your employees aware of their obligation to seek health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. You also have to let your employees know that they have access to guaranteed coverage in the individual market and that they may be eligible for government subsidies if the coverage you provide them is not deemed to be affordable under the law.

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Investors Fear Bank Contagion, Despite a Sweeping Rescue Plan

Shares in regional lenders were under pressure, even after regulators unveiled a vast backstop for U.S. banks after Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse

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By Andrew Ross Sorkin ,  Ravi Mattu ,  Bernhard Warner ,  Sarah Kessler ,  Michael J. de la Merced ,  Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni

Fully backed by the U.S. government.

Bailout nation

Andrew here. Federal regulators on Sunday unveiled the most sweeping backstop for the U.S. banking system since the 2008 crisis, to limit carnage from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The decision has shaken up global markets, with investors selling bank stocks and betting that the Fed would hold off on further interest rate rises.

Monday’s newsletter is a special edition deep dive into what just happened. Let’s start with some takeaways from the dizzying turn of events: Too Big to Fail is as alive as ever, but now no bank is too small to fail as well.

Banking is now officially a government-backed business, if it wasn’t before. Let’s admit it: Once the government guarantees all deposits, the “business” of banking isn’t much of a business — and maybe shouldn’t be. This is likely to become the biggest debate of the coming weeks and months.

The venture capital community, a group that includes a vocal group of libertarians, was just bailed out. Yes, these investors do good by funding start-ups, but they have also long lobbied for fewer regulations and also benefited from the special treatment of carried interest. This all looks particularly egregious after some of them spent the weekend begging for government help.

But the reality is that if S.V.B. was just a small regional bank that did not have ties to loud, politically connected venture capitalists and the tech community, it might have been allowed to die — and its customers, individuals and small businesses, would have suffered. Instead, because it is Silicon Valley, it commanded attention.

We have become a country of bailouts. We did it after the Sept. 11 attacks, in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008, during the pandemic — and now we are at it again. For those that say we should have lower taxes and shouldn’t fund the government, how are these bailouts supposed to be financed? (It’s also fair to say regulators should have done a better job, but the truth is that they have been pushed to do less , not more.)

Now that regulators will likely force small banks to raise their capital requirements to a level similar to bigger banks, costs for businesses and consumers will go up in the short term. That, of course, comes on top of higher interest rates.

Regulators should have kept a closer eye on small banks. They spent too much of the past decade or so focused on the big banks, because they apparently didn’t think that small lenders posed a systemic risk. But guess what? We have now decided that regional banks are just as risky.

Some of these institutions, including S.V.B., pushed back on more regulation, arguing that this wouldn’t allow them to compete with their bigger rivals. Silicon Valley Bank wrapped itself in the flag, arguing that was supporting small start-up businesses.

Shadow banking will expand. As more and more of the banking system faces tighter regulation, the business of making loans will increasingly move down the food chain to private firms. This has been happening for years already, but the trend is now likely to accelerate.

Bank runs are even more dangerous in the age of social media. Confidence can evaporate faster than ever when misinformation can spread in a matter of minutes, and a single tweet can send customers fleeing.

The big winner: Jamie Dimon and the big banks. JPMorgan Chase’s bankers spent the week opening up new accounts as everyone fled smaller lenders in favor of its “fortress balance sheet.” Investors have complained over the years about Dimon’s focus on having enough capital and sufficient liquidity at the expense of earnings, but his approach now looks like the right one.

Big banks’ behavior this time has been shaped by the fallout from 2008. Why isn’t Dimon buying S.V.B.? He has complained about the headaches of buying Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual at the government’s behest in 2008, having spent years fighting litigation and paying fines for those firms’ bad behavior. Bank executives who were around back then remember that.


The U.S., Britain and Australia will unveil a new defense pact to counter China. President Biden will announce the landmark nuclear-submarine agreement with the leaders of the other two countries at a meeting in San Diego. The talks come as China’s leader, Xi Jinping, vowed to bolster his country’s military and warned against “external interference” in Taiwan. Xi reportedly plans to meet as soon as next week with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and to speak with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

President Biden will greenlight environmental protections, as well as drilling, in the Arctic. A new measure defending more than 16 million acres of land and water in Alaska from oil and gas leases comes as he also plans to approve a contentious oil development project.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” wins big at the Oscars. The sci-fi action comedy won best picture and six other awards, including best actress for Michelle Yeoh, making her the first Asian woman to receive the prize. The ceremony passed without incident after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock last year.

The race to stop banking contagion continues

Federal regulators hope that the sweeping backstop they introduced on Sunday to insulate the U.S. financial system from Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse will hold, even as they shut another regional lender, Signature Bank .

But yet another institution, First Republic, appears under pressure on Monday, despite securing funding. And the blame game is well underway.

First Republic reflects investor fears about banks’ health. The independent lender said on Sunday that it had secured access to about $70 billion in additional liquidity from the Fed and JPMorgan Chase. But its shares were down nearly 60 percent in premarket trading, suggesting markets are worried that it remains in trouble.

Investors more broadly feared further chaos was coming, despite the Fed’s efforts. European stocks, particularly big banks, were down this morning. Not even the prospect of a pause in central banks’ raising rates appeared to offer much comfort.

Regulators are still trying to sort out the wreckage of Silicon Valley Bank. HSBC said on Monday that it would buy the failed lender’s British operations for a symbolic 1 pound ($1.21), helping to shore up U.K. start-ups.

Meanwhile, bidders including JPMorgan and PNC Financial are reportedly still pursuing a deal for Silicon Valley Bank’s holding company , which includes asset management and a securities division and excludes the commercial bank now under F.D.I.C. control.

Start-ups are hoping they can finally exhale. Until the Fed announced that deposits at Silicon Valley Bank would be available from Monday, entrepreneurs raced to find cash to make payroll and pay expenses. Some found help from their venture capital bankers, private lenders and even from tech moguls like Sam Altman , of the ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

The billionaire investor Dan Loeb took a shot at some of his fellow venture capitalists, however: Start-ups could see who came to help, versus those who “hemmed and hawed or claimed their GPs didn’t have capital like that guy from a multi- billion quant shop,” he tweeted.

And recriminations are flying widely. Regulators face questions about how they missed red flags at Silicon Valley Bank, while venture capitalists were criticized as helping to spark a run at the lender. S.V.B. executives also took flak for mismanagement, including by failing to hedge against rises in interest rates, and for paying out employee bonuses on Friday.

But much of the criticism was aimed at the banking industry itself, which pushed back hard against tougher regulations after 2008. Lever News reported that allies of Silicon Valley Bank had opposed a higher deposit insurance surcharge from the F.D.I.C. to protect customer money. (Of note: One of Signature’s directors is Barney Frank, the former U.S. lawmaker who helped spearhead the expansive Dodd-Frank banking regulations. Incidentally, he blames this mess on crypto .)

Progressives used the moment to call for tighter regulations, including Senator Elizabeth Warren , Democrat of Massachusetts, in a Times Opinion guest essay:

These bank failures were entirely avoidable if Congress and the Fed had done their jobs and kept strong banking regulations in place since 2018. S.V.B. and Signature are gone, and now Washington must act quickly to prevent the next crisis.

What we know (and don’t know) about the bailout

The government’s deal to backstop depositors’ money held at all banks — and, in particular, at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank — came as a huge relief to start-ups, the venture capital ecosystem and investors. But it hardly removes the contagion fears. Here are the main points of the rescue program, and the questions we still have.

The move could improve the prospects of a deal for S.V.B. A potential buyer wouldn’t have to absorb the bank’s huge losses, making the bank, which has a powerful customer base of tech elites and start-ups, more desirable. But will a savior demand some kind of protection against possible future litigation?

Silicon Valley shareholders will see their holdings wiped out. That’s a key difference from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the sweeping banking bailout that saved U.S. lenders during the 2008 financial crisis .

Other banks have a new liquidity cushion. The Fed’s new program will let eligible banks borrow against bond holdings that have lost value since the central bank jacked up interest rates. That’s a big deal for banks sitting on huge quantities of these bonds, like Charles Schwab and First Republic, that would have had to take losses too if a wave of customer deposit withdrawals forced them to sell off those holdings. (Banks wouldn’t book a loss if those bonds are held to maturity.)

Are taxpayers really off the hook? Federal regulators say that banks insured by the F.D.I.C. (that is, most U.S. lenders) will be required to pay a tax to fund the measure.

But there’s nothing stopping banks from passing on that cost to customers, including through, say, credit card fees. And the loan program itself is backed by $25 billion from the Exchange Stabilization Fund, a Treasury Deposit emergency rescue fund financed by taxpayers.

What about other regional banks ? Markets’ volatility this morning shows that not all investors are convinced that these measures will safeguard American banks, particularly in an era of rising interest rates and industry consolidation.

The week ahead

Here’s what else to watch this week:

Tomorrow: The Commerce Department will release Consumer Price Index data at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Economists, on average, expect the figures to confirm that inflation is moderating, but only slightly . On the earnings front: Volkswagen.

Wednesday: Adobe, BMW and Inditex, the owner of Zara, report results. New data on retail sales and the Producer Price Index are also due to be published. Elsewhere: Britain’s spring budget.

Thursday: It’s decision day for the European Central Bank. A half-percentage point increase is expected. Microsoft will present an A.I.-themed “future of work” event. The tech press is speculating that the software giant could offer details on a ChatGPT-powered Outlook software suite. FedEx and Dollar General report earnings.

Friday: The closely watched consumer sentiment report from the University of Michigan is scheduled for release.


Carl Icahn is reportedly planning a proxy fight at Illumina. (WSJ)

Silver Lake is set to buy the survey software maker Qualtrics in a $12.5 billion deal. (FT)

“A Supermarket Merger Will Redefine What You Buy at the Grocery Store” (WSJ)

Best of the rest

JPMorgan Chase has an uphill battle to make a former executive liable for any financial damages from lawsuits over the bank’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein. (FT)

Fox News could face a mortal blow if it loses the defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems — but it’s unclear whether damaging new evidence against the network will be heard in court . (MSNBC, NYT)

We’d like your feedback! Please email thoughts and suggestions to [email protected] .


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