Covered California for Small Business, which enables businesses with up to 100 employees to buy health insurance coverage for employees, recently announced its rates and expansion plans for 2017. The statewide average rate will increase 5.9% for coverage beginning on January 1, 2017. This is a decrease from last year, which saw an average increase of 7.2%.
Coverage options will also expand in 2017. Blue Shield of California will offer its full PPO plan across all metal tiers statewide and to employees working out-of-state. Blue Shield will also offer a new plan, the Trio HMO Network that is based on an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) framework. An ACO is an innovative care model designed to control costs through use of a network of doctors and hospitals that provide coordinated care and share responsibility for outcomes. In addition to the Blue Shield changes, Kaiser will expand coverage into Santa Cruz County.
The carriers offering plans in 2017 include: Blue Shield of California, Chinese Community Health Plan, Health Net, Kaiser, Sharp Health Plan and Western Health Advantage.
Covered California for Small Business is one of the largest Small Business Health Options Programs in the country with over 28,000 people currently enrolled. Businesses providing coverage to their employees through Covered California for Small Business may be eligible for federal tax credits.
More information about the options available to small businesses is available through KeenanDirect.