Calculator May Help Small Businesses Determine SHOP Eligibility


The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has developed a Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Employee Calculator to help small employers determine whether they qualify for the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).


SHOP is available as an option for qualified small employers to purchase employee health coverage. The federal government is running the program in states that chose not to operate their own SHOP Marketplace (Exchange). For 2014, employers are generally eligible to purchase health coverage through the federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplace if they have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), including part-time employees. (For example, 2 part-time employees generally equal 1 full-time equivalent employee.)


Required Information for FTE Calculator
Small employers should obtain the following information before using the FTE calculator:

  • A list of all employees, both full-time and part-time; and
  • The hours worked per week by part-time employees (employers will be able to enter the hours worked by each part-time employee onto a worksheet that will calculate the total hours worked by all part-time employees).


State-Based SHOPs
Some states operating their own SHOP Marketplace count FTEs for SHOP eligibility differently. Employers in these states are encouraged to contact their SHOP Marketplace to learn more.


Click here for more information on how FTEs are calculated for SHOP.