Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange, announced plans and premiums for its Small Business Health Options Program — or SHOP — Thursday afternoon. Six health insurers were selected for the marketplace. While some are regional insurers only, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said businesses in many parts of California should have a choice of four or more plans.
Lee said rates for the plans, starting in 2014, will be comparable with current rates or “in many cases” lower than they are now. “With the SHOP program,” Lee told reporters in a conference call, “we’re offering … a combination of choice and standard benefits for small businesses to offer (health insurance) on par with what large employers do, but without paying additional fees. This is a game leveler.”available now. It’s currently 35 percent and goes up to 50 percent of the premium on Jan. 1. Small business owners who want to take advantage must purchase health insurance through the SHOP marketplace. Continue reading