person on tablet registering for open enrollment

Individual Marketplace Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1, SHOP Enrollment With No Minimum Participation Rate Begins Nov. 15

Individuals and eligible small employers should be aware of two important enrollment dates for the federal Individual Health Insurance Marketplace and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace. Next month, individuals will begin open enrollment for 2018, and small businesses will be given a chance to enroll in SHOP coverage without meeting certain requirements.

Individual Marketplace Open Enrollment Period

The 2018 open enrollment period to obtain coverage in the Individual Marketplace runs from November 1, 2017, through December 15, 2017, with coverage starting January 1, 2018. After this period, individuals can enroll or change plans only if they qualify for a special enrollment period.

SHOP Marketplace Enrollment

While eligible small employers do not have to wait for an open enrollment period and can start offering SHOP coverage to their employees at any time of the year, from November 15 through December 15 these employers will not have to meet their state’s Minimum Participation Rate (MPR) in order to be eligible to purchase coverage. In general, employers can use the SHOP Marketplace to purchase coverage if they:

  • Have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (although some states may make the SHOP Marketplace available to businesses with up to 100 employees);
  • Have an office or employee work site within the state whose SHOP Marketplace the employer wishes to use;
  • Offer coverage to all of their full-time employees (generally those working an average of 30 hours or more per week); and
  • Meet the applicable MPR requirement (in most states, at least 70% of full-time employees must enroll to satisfy this requirement).

Click here to view SHOP Marketplace tools, fact sheets, how-to guides, and other resources for employers.