SMALL BUSINESS HEALTH OPTIONS PROGRAM (SHOP)
Small Group – Employers with 50 or fewer employees are NOT required to provide health insurance to their employees however many do to attract and retain the best employees. Last month, Covered California announced the insurance carriers who will be participating in the State’s new health exchange for Small Business called SHOP. In Orange County, we have Blue Shield, Health Net and Kaiser. There will be four levels of health insurance available: Platinum, Gold, Silver & Bronze. Certified agents will assist employers in their selection and in applying for coverage. Training & certification of agents is starting soon. The State exchange is just another place to buy insurance. Many carriers will continue to sell Small Group Coverage directly to employers outside of the Exchange. The actual rates won’t be available until after October 1, 2013 for a January 1, 2014 effective date.