Covered California has released a series of marketing videos to develop interest and drive sales to their small employer group plans. Formerly known as SHOP (Small business Health insurance Options Program), the small employer group offerings, authorized as part of the Affordable Care Act, has been re-branded as Covered California for Small Business. The small employer group marketplace exchange initially flopped as it was beset with an online application process that failed and subsequent management problems that resulted in billing nightmares for many clients. Fortunately, they seem to have righted the foundering small group boat at Covered California. New marketing videos at end of post.
Tax credits still available for small employers
The main advantage that Covered California for Small Business offers is the potential for tax credits for the employer when offering health insurance through this Marketplace exchange. The health plans offered are generally competitive to similar plans offered either directly through the carriers or from California Choice. The second advantage is relative simplicity in offering a variety of carriers to the employees.
Nonprofits can offer health insurance through Covered California
The inclusion of the terms small business may lead nonprofit employers not to consider the Covered California employer group option. You don’t have to be a “for profit” operation to offer your employees health insurance through Covered California for Small Business. While there are many benefits to small group employer plans, low to moderate wage employees with dependents may still be financially better off securing an individual and family plan through Covered California with premium tax credit assistance. Unfortunately, the way the ACA works, employees who are offered affordable group health insurance, where the employee only, not the family, premium is less than 8.5% of the household income, prevents the dependents of the employee from being eligible for the tax credits through Covered California.
Covered California for Small Business is trying to grow
As of July 2015, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee reported that the small business program had 2,763 groups representing 18,476 members. They had finally automated the payments to carriers and they were in the process of automating commission payments to agents. This is real progress. Any other business would have failed long ago with the numerous problems the program had in the beginning.
Want a quote?
If you are interested in getting a quote on small group plans offered through Covered California please down the Small Employer Group Census form and email it to me.
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New Covered California videos marketing small employer group health options
What is Covered California for Small Business?
Covered California for Small Business: We’re here to help
How does Covered California for Small Business work?
Covered California for Small Business: You Could Qualify for a Tax Credit
Covered California for Small Business: Choices in Your Health Insurance
How can a Certified Insurance Agent help you?