Health Coverage for Oregon Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Small businesses account for more than 50 percent of the private sector jobs in Oregon, but as health care costs continue to increase, only about 34 percent with fewer than 10 employees offer health insurance.

Whether you’re a small business owner or a sole proprietor, the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) can help you in getting medical and dental plans for yourself and your employees.

The benefits are many: You can control the coverage you offer and how much you pay toward employee premium and start the coverage anytime. If you enroll by the 15th of the month, the coverage can start on the 1st of the following month. You can choose from four levels of coverage to find a plan that meets the needs of your business:

  • Broad choice – Employees can choose from multiple companies and plans.
  • Multiple companies/one plan – Employer chooses a benefit plan level, and employees can select a plan from all companies.
  • Plan bundling – Employer selects one insurance company but gives employees the ability to select from all plans offered by that company.
  • Traditional – Employer selects one insurance company and plan for employees.

When you buy health insurance for your employees through the SHOP Marketplace and you have fewer than 25 employees, you may  qualify for a tax credit worth up to 50% of your premium contributions.

Here’s what you need to know about the tax credit and applying for SHOP:

  • Federal tax credits are available for qualifying taxable and tax-exempt organizations.
  • Eligible employers can take advantage of the tax credit for two consecutive taxable years.
  • Tax-exempt employers could receive up to 35% of employer premium contributions. They can also access the credit as a refund.
  • The Small Business Health care Tax Credit is available is available for qualified employers who will purchase health plans through SHOP.
  • If you don’t qualify for a small business tax credit, you may still purchase coverage through SHOP.
  • For the most up to date information and guidance on claiming this tax credit, visit

Apply for SHOP coverage anytime, all-year round

SHOP is open to eligible employers anytime, all throughout the year. Start by completing an eligibility application. As a certified health insurance agent, I can assist you and your employees in selecting a carrier and health plan that best meet your needs. Call 503.972.4285 or email


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