I’m interested in SHOP coverage but there aren’t any participating insurers in my area (or there’s only one insurer participating but I don’t like them). Can I still get SHOP coverage, and can I still get the tax credit?

Coverage for small employers | Small Employer Coverage

Generally, you are only eligible for the small business health insurance tax credit if you choose to purchase non-SHOP coverage. However, the IRS issued guidance allowing small businesses to claim the credit for purchasing coverage outside of SHOP coverage in areas where there are no SHOP plans available.

Note however, that the District of Columbia and Vermont only allow individuals and small groups to purchase coverage through their state-based health insurance marketplace. (IRS, Understanding the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit; IRS, Notice 2018-27).

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