Marketplaces, sometimes called “Exchanges”, are state- or federally run places where people can buy health care coverage. They include websites, call centers, and physical locations, so you can get coverage online, over the phone, or in person. You can compare and choose health plans offered by private companies, get answers to questions, and find out if you are eligible for financial assistance or special programs.
Marketplaces also operate a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). There, small-business employers of 50 or fewer employees can buy coverage for their employees. In California and Colorado, starting in 2016, the SHOP will become available to employers with 51 to 100 employees.
Employers of up to 50 may qualify but the way the tax credit works, only those employers with 24 or fewer employees will qualify. Employers of 24 or fewer employees will qualify for a tax credit for coverage purchased through the SHOP.
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