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)

SHOP delay doesn’t affect California

Covered California has begun offering online enrollments to small businesses, unaffected by the one-year delay in signups suffered by the federal Obamacare site. The Covered California site underwent a scheduled outage of its enrollment functionality over the weekend ending Nov. 25 and will officially unveil the small-business health insurance service Monday. The California exchange's Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), ... (More)

Insurance deadline now Dec. 23

The deadline for enrollment in Covered California policies that take effect Jan. 1 has been rolled back a week, to Dec. 23. The state Obamacare operation announced Nov. 21 that shoppers in the individual insurance marketplace would get more time to sign up for its health insurance policies. The deadline for first payments also has been pushed back, to Jan. 5. Covered California said the move was part of its efforts "to sustain, ... (More)

Jones blasts Covered Cal decision

California's insurance commissioner says the state Obamacare operation is denying "individuals and families the opportunity to keep their existing health insurance as President Obama promised." Commissioner Dave Jones says Covered California's decision not to allow extensions of outdated health insurance policies discriminates against individual buyers of insurance, while small business customers are allowed to renew coverage through ... (More)

Insurer quality ratings due in 2014

The board of California's health insurance marketplace voted to display carrier quality ratings in next year's open enrollment period. The Covered California management wanted to wait until October 2015. The state Obamacare exchange made negative headlines in the past week for not offering quality ratings of health plans it handles. While not news -- the ratings decision was addressed and explained last summer -- Kaiser Permanente ... (More)