CA Releases Premiums for Small Businesses
Covered California just released its updated ObamaCare rates for small businesses to use the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP). SHOP is dedicated to employers with 50 or less employees (beginning in 2015 employers with up to 100 employees may use the program). Small businesses (under 50) are not mandated to offer insurance by the Affordable Care Act, however to make small businesses more competitive with large group plans, ObamaCare is offering a program with affordable group care. Businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees are mandated to offer insurance to their employees starting in 2015.
California’s SHOP, which begins January 2014, includes six insurance providers for 19 regions. Employers choose an “anchor” plan from one of the metallic levels known as the Bronze Plan, Silver Plan, Gold Plan, and Platinum Plan, then employees can choose the anchor plan or a plan that is lower, at no extra cost to the employee. If an employee chooses a plan with a higher level of coverage, the employee will pay any extra costs associated with the more expensive plan.
The average rate for the three lowest Silver Plan monthly premiums for a 40 year old employee is $346 (averaged from 6 regions). According to Covered CA, this brings the average cost down in these six regions by 11.5% compared to small group rates in 2013, with San Francisco County seeing the greatest drop at 28%.
Employers with less than 25 employees and offer health insurance may receive a tax credit to help cover the cost of their employees’ premiums. To learn if you qualify for a subsidy or about CA small group plans call 800-930-7956 or contact Medicoverage.com.