While the rollout of HealthCare.gov continues, bookstore owners with locations in more than one state can explore a couple of options for employee coverage.
Business owners have the option to apply in the state of their primary location and elect to offer multi-state coverage, or they may apply for a SHOP in each state where they have an office location.
To apply, the owner will need to complete a single employer application to participate in the Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace, known as the SHOP Marketplace. The application asks for specific information about the bookstore, such as the official name; the federal Employer Identification Number, or E.I.N.; the business type; and the primary business address.
Bookstore owners will also need to provide a list of all their full-time employees who will be offered coverage and include information such as date of birth and Social Security number. If the bookseller plans to offer dependent coverage, knowing how many employees are likely to enroll and their estimated ages will give the most accurate premium information when deciding on how much to contribute to coverage. They will be able to apply for coverage through the SHOP Marketplace for coverage beginning as early as January 1, 2014. When enrollment begins, they can find and submit an application online, through an agent or broker, in person, or over the phone.
When booksellers fill out a SHOP application, they will be able to compare plans by price and other important features. They also need to decide if they will offer coverage for dental services, which will affect how much they pay overall. After they’ve made their choices, they’ll know how much their plan will cost.
If the website is not available, a bookstore owner can apply over the phone at (800) 706-7893 Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST, with the exception of some federal holidays. To apply in person, a local navigator — an individual or organization that’s trained and able to help consumers and small businesses — can be found at localhelp.healthcare.gov.