Many of America's family physicians are small business owners who want to offer their employees health insurance benefits but struggle to find an affordable plan.
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace(www.healthcare.gov) offers insurance options that could help small practices. Physician owners with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees can apply for a SHOP plan online beginning Nov. 15. Four insurance options are offered: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
In addition, special tax credits set up for this program could further reduce costs for eligible practices -- that is, those that employ fewer than 25 FTEs making an average of $50,000 per year or less. To qualify, practices offering coverage through the SHOP Marketplace must pay at least 50 percent of their FTEs' health premiums.
The tax credit is worth up to 50 percent of a practice's contribution toward employee premium costs; that percentage drops to 35 percent for tax-exempt employers.
Explore the SHOP website today to review qualifying tax credit information, compare plans and prices, utilize a calculator to count FTEs, and search locally for agents and brokers.
The site also offers how-to guides, fact sheets, tools and other resources for employers. For more personal assistance, call 800-706-7893 to speak to a SHOP representative.