Oregon’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) has not opened yet, but that does not mean small businesses in Oregon cannot offer affordable health insurance to their employees. Any small business in Oregon with one to 50 employees can purchase a certified plan directly from one of the participating insurers. And, if you have a small business with fewer than 25 full-time employees, you could be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
Review the complete list of all certified medical and dental plans you can choose from for coverage. Remember, you must choose one of these plans to be considered for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
If you need help choosing a plan, you can search for a certified insurance agent or work with your current insurance agent.
Does my business qualify to buy coverage through SHOP?
How do I know if I am a small employer?
Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
The IRS Small Business Health Care Tax Credit helps qualified small businesses lower the cost of offering health insurance to employees. If you have a small business in Oregon, you must meet the following minimum criteria to qualify for the tax credit:
- Employ fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees (not including family members of
owners/partners or seasonal workers who work fewer than 120 days during the taxable year)
- Pay average annual salaries of $50,000 or less per employee
- Pay at least 50 percent of full-time employees’ premium costs
- Purchase a certified medical or dental plan
The maximum tax credit is 50 percent of the amount you pay toward your employees’ premium costs (35 percent for tax-exempt employers). You do not need to offer coverage to your part-time employees or to dependents to qualify for the tax credit.
Follow these four steps to claim the tax credit when you file your taxes:
- Purchase a certified medical or dental plan directly from a participating insurance carrier.
- Inform your insurance carrier that you want to apply for the tax credit – your agent can do this for you.
Your insurance carrier will then contact the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace to request a letter confirming that the plan you purchased is certified.
- Receive confirmation letter from the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace.*
The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will send the letter to you, your agent, and your insurance carrier.
- File the confirmation letter with your taxes when applying for the small business tax credit.
*Note: The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace does not determine eligibility for the IRS Small Business Health Care Tax Credit; we only confirm that the plan purchased is certified.