Information for Small Businesses

The decision to offer health coverage to employees can be a complex one as you consider factors like costs to you and your employees, as well as the health services that are covered. A group health insurance plan, like a plan purchased through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) or from a private health insurance company, provides coverage to eligible employees. While does not offer group coverage, we have information and resources to explore regarding small business group health insurance plans. 

Small Business Health Options Program

The Small Business Health Options Program is for small employers who want to provide health insurance to their employees affordably, flexibly, and conveniently. If you qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, you generally must purchase a SHOP plan to claim it.

What is the Small Business Health Care tax credit?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may offer a tax credit to small businesses that meet certain requirements. 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. If you have fewer than 25 full-time employees, you may qualify for a small business health care tax credit.

Is my business eligible for SHOP?

If your business plans to claim a SHOP tax credit, you should complete the SHOP application form to confirm your business's eligibility to enroll in SHOP coverage and retain the eligibility determination for your records. 

Does my business qualify for savings?

Enrolling in a SHOP plan is typically the only way for a small business or non-profit to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. You can use our Small Business Tax Credit Calculator to find out if your business might qualify for a tax credit, and if so, what amount of financial help you may expect. Ultimately, the IRS will determine your eligibility and the amount of tax credit you qualify for when you file your taxes. 

How do I enroll? does not operate an eligibility and enrollment platform for small businesses. To select and enroll in small group insurance plans, you can reach out to an insurance Broker, or go directly to the insurance carrier. In Maine, only Community Health Options offers SHOP plans that qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. To see qualifying plans offered by Community Health Options, you can use the Employer Quick Quote Tool. For more information about available plans and pricing, reach out directly to Community Health Options.

Information for Small Businesses

If you aren't interested in a SHOP plan or your business doesn't qualify, there are other options you can explore. Our Small Business Decision Support Tool provides employers with estimates of both employer and employee costs when coverage is provided via a Small Group Plan, an Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA), or by raising wages.

You can also visit the Maine Bureau of Insurance (BOI) website to learn more about health insurance for small businesses. BOI offers a Small Group Health Insurance Rate Calculator, which can help you estimate your Small Group premiums.