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Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace Open to Small Businesses

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Small business owners and nonprofits in west central Illinois are invited to attend a free brown bag lunch event from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Thursday, September 11, at the McDonough County Health Department.

The meeting will focus on the Illinois Small Business Health Option Program or SHOP Marketplace.

Bev Rossmiller with Tri State Health Care Coalition will be the presenter.

“At the meeting, we will talk about who is eligible, help a small business determine if they are eligible or not, and what are the advantages of the marketplace,” Rossmiller said.

The Illinois SHOP Marketplace is open to small businesses and nonprofits with 50 or fewer employees. Rossmiller said those organizations are not required by law to provide insurance, but doing so can be beneficial in helping attract and retain good workers.

She also plans to use the meeting to outline the types of insurance plans offered and the costs. She said rates are largely determined by geographical area.

“One of the big advantages for small businesses is the small business health tax credit that is available to small business owners as well as nonprofits. So we will review that opportunity as well.”

Rossmiller said qualifying small businesses might be eligible to receive a tax credit up to 50% of their contribution toward the employee premium costs for health insurance. For qualifying nonprofits, the tax credit is up to 35%  of the premium costs.

Unlike the individual marketplace -- which has specific enrollment periods -- small businesses owners and nonprofits can enroll in the state marketplace at any time.

Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.