Small biz premiums up 6%

Covered California's small group health program for business will see an average premium increase of just under 6 percent in 2017, the state Obamacare operation said. The exchange is bringing "choice, stability and rate moderation to employers, their employees and the many consumers who don't have employer-based coverage," Covered California chief Peter Lee said in announcing the average rates and program expansions. "The options ... (More)

Small business rules amended

President Obama has signed legislation that makes a significant change in the health law's small business rules, following a rare bipartisan effort to amend the health law. The revision updates the definition of "small employer" under the health law so that companies with 51 to 100 workers will not become subject to the small group insurance reform provisions next year. Instead, the new law allows those companies to continue as large ... (More)

10 insurers for Covered Cal 2015

Covered California has unveiled the 10 health care insurance companies that will participate in the state's Obamacare individual marketplace in 2015. All of the companies provided Covered California policies in 2014, the first year of the state healthcare exchange's operation. The 2015 Covered California companies are: Anthem Blue Cross of California Blue Shield of California Health Net Kaiser Permanente Chinese Community ... (More)

Health extension for small business

Small businesses in California have won another year to update their employee health insurance to policies that are in full compliance with the Affordable Care Act. The employers had been required to move by the end of the year to plans that met the minimum standards under the Affordable Care Act. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones noted that many small employers would upgrade to new policies anyway, but the new law "provides ... (More)

Closing up the SHOP portal

Covered California has pulled the plug on its online section for small business, referring would-be customers to paper applications. The online takedown is the second in less than a week, following removal of the state Obamacare operation's physician listings, which were found to have numerous errors. "The SHOP portal was not meeting the needs of agents or small employers and needed improvements," said Covered California chief ... (More)