small business & employees

Who Qualifies

a new way to shop for health insurance

MNsure is changing the way your small business shops for health coverage. Our SHOP marketplace gives your business unprecedented choice in selecting health coverage options to meet the needs of your employees. Creating an account will allow you to review plans without any obligation to enroll.

Important Deadlines for Employers

Coverage Effective Date Employer Online Enrollment Deadline
9/1/2014 7/28/2014
10/1/2014 8/27/2014
11/1/2014 9/26/2014
12/1/2014 10/24/2014

federal tax credits--only through MNsure 

Businesses with fewer than 25 employees, that purchase through MNsure, may be eligible for tax credits to help pay for employees’ coverage. Starting in 2014, the tax credit covers up to 50 percent of employer-paid premium costs for taxable organizations and up to 35 percent for tax-exempt organizations. To qualify, you must:

  • Provide health insurance to your employees. 
  • Pay at least 50 percent of employee-only health insurance premiums.
  • Pay average annual wages of less than $50,000. 

Visit the IRS for more detailed information, and consult your tax advisor.

Tax Credit Calculator

Small businesses that offer healthcare coverage to their employees may qualify for a tax credit. Use this calculator to get a good estimate of your tax credit.

the benefits of choice and convenience 

With MNsure you can set up an account and complete an online application. We recommend working with a trusted agent/broker who can help guide you through the process. Other benefits include:

  • Choice: a broad selection of health plans from multiple insurance companies.
  • Less paperwork: one monthly bill no matter how many plans you choose and easy online tools for updating and managing business and employee information.

what businesses can use MNsure?

  • Any Minnesota-based business that is a single employer and not an association.
  • Businesses that are not owned by a controlling entity that have more than 50 employees under their control.
  • Businesses that have 2-50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees calculated as: 
    • The number of full-time employees working 30 or more hours each week  +  the number of part-time employees working more than an average of 20 hours each week.
    • Employee count does not include temporary, seasonal, substitute-basis employees, retirees, disabled former employees, or individuals on COBRA or State continuation.
  • If the employer is a sole proprietor, they must have at least one other employee who works 20 hours/week or more, is eligible for coverage, and is not temporary, seasonal, or substitute.

employer requirements

  1. Contribution: A small business employer’s minimum contribution requirement is 50% of the plan premium for all employees offered coverage.
  2. Participation: A minimum of 75% of employees must purchase group coverage after eligible waivers. Eligible waivers are for other group coverage (e.g. the employee is covered under a spouse’s employee-offered coverage), Government-sponsored plans (Medicare and Medicaid), or military sponsored coverage (Tricare or VA).  Individual coverage is not an eligible waiver. 
  3. Full-time employees: The Affordable Care Act requires that all full-time employees (working on average 30 hours or more each week) must be offered coverage. Employers are not required to offer coverage to employees working between 20 and 29 hours each week.

coverage options

MNsure gives you the flexibility of choice and cost control so you can offer your employees one of these options:

  1. Broad choice: You set the contribution percentage you’ll pay toward premiums and let employees choose from multiple plans.
  2. Metal Level: You choose one coverage level (e.g., bronze, silver, gold, platinum) and let employees choose the plan and insurance company at that level.
  3. Employer Choice: You choose one insurance company and plan for all employees.

employee enrollment

  • Paper enrollment process: All employee enrollment is completed via a paper process. Shortly after an employer completes the online enrollment application, the SHOP team will send them an email confirmation that includes a summary of their selections and Employee Enrollment Instructions.
  • Disabled Dependents: Please notify us of any employee applications that will include disabled dependents. Do this by sending an email to with ‘Disabled Dependent’ as the Subject line. We will send the employee a SHOP Disabled Dependent Coverage Application to be completed by the attending physician and returned to MNsure.