Tag Archives: small businesses

As the various insurance implications surrounding Obamacare continue to affect both individuals and small businesses, it is important that you make sure that you are complying with the Affordable Care Act. Depending on the size of your small business and the amount of full-time employees that you have, you may be required to offer them health insurance. As we observe how recent health care reform is affecting our California small businesses, there are some trends that are worthy of acknowledgement:

  • Obamacare has contributed to the growth of consumer-driven health care. As a consumer-driven industry, employees and patients are acting as medical consumers and controlling how their health care allowances are spent. Since the responsibility of controlling health care choices is transferred to the employees, small business employers benefit from consumer-driven health care.
  • As a small business employer, it is important that you educate yourself of the various health insurance options available to you. When it comes to small businesses and health insurance, you have the luxury of offering your employees tax-free money so that they can make their own health insurance purchase.
  • The entire way employee benefits work is altered by recent health care reform. Rather than providing your employees with a group health insurance plan, you now have the luxury of offering your employees a health care allowance instead. If you have experienced the inability to offer your employees group health insurance in the past due to failure to meet minimum requirements, you can now offer employees this commodity, tax-free!

Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services for all of your California business’ health insurance needs. We understand that the various implications surrounding Covered California may have you confused, and that is why we are available to dispel any myths and reveal only the truth.

Starting in January, 2014, the Covered America SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) will help California small businesses provide affordable small group health insurance for their employees through the program’s small business health insurance marketplace. The SHOP exchange will make it easy to offer employees a large selection of health plans generally only available to larger employers.

Small-business owners may enroll in the Covered California plans beginning on October 1, when the exchange is launched, for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014. Depending on which of the 19 pricing regions they reside in, employers and employees will be able to choose between 3 or 4 carriers. SHOP plan choices will have good provider networks, a standardized set of benefits and a choice of insurers at competitive prices.

While rates will vary based on the region, the premiums for Covered California SHOP insurance coverage is fairly comparable to 2013 small-group market rates, which can possibly save small businesses money. There are four levels of health insurance plans offered under Covered California — Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Small-business owners will be able to shop online through the exchange to compare available coverage options for their employees.

Employers will be able to choose the best fitting coverage level, then choose the anchor plan that suits their budget. For more information about choosing the best level and anchor plan for your small business, contact the Redlands, California insurance experts, Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services , today.

Like many small business owners, you probably have questions about Covered California and how it can provide insurance coverage for you and your employees. Covered California is a marketplace developed specifically for small businesses with up to 50 qualified employees.

The marketplace, also called the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP exchanges) will make it easier to compare a variety of competing high-quality, qualified health plans from private insurance companies, including small group health insurance plans similar to those offered to large businesses.

Covered California will support your small business by:

  • Providing Control. You will be able to choose if or when to participate in Covered California, and to determine your own level of contribution toward your employees’ coverage.
  • Expanding Employee Options. You will be able to offer your employees their Qualified Health Plan choice from several insurance companies.
  • Simplifying Options. Covered California will offer the ability to compare health plan benefits, quality and premiums side-by-side.
  • Making Insurance Affordable. Covered California spreads insurers’ administrative costs, sharing them between more employers. Additionally, if you have less than 25 employees, you may qualify for small business tax credits.

Offering your employees high-quality health insurance, keeping them healthier, happier and more productive is a competitive advantage in the labor market. For more information about how Covered California can benefit your small business, contact the Redlands insurance experts at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services.

Due to the signing of the Affordable Care Act, most adults will be required to purchase public or private insurance by the beginning of the new year or face a fine. Under California’s new Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), Covered California opened for small group enrollment on Oct. 1, 2013, for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

California businesses with less than 50 employees can benefit from better choices, online tools and competitively priced, small group health insurance plans similar to those previously only available to large group employers.

While small businesses are not required to enroll in the Covered California’s SHOP, and are not penalized for not participating, the exchanges will allow you to more easily provide health insurance to your employees. In addition, some businesses with less than 25 employees may be able to take advantage of Federal tax credits only available through SHOP.

Small business owners can begin enrolling in the SHOP plans on October 1, 2013, when the health exchange opens. The plans are competitively priced, and will allow you to offer your employees the ability to choose from a variety of plans, while possibly qualifying for federal tax credits.

Are you ready for the new federal health care laws going into effect in 2014? If you have questions about how to provide affordable small group coverage for your employees, or are confused about how an exchange works, contact the Redlands, California insurance experts at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services today.

The Covered California SHOP Exchange provides two major benefits to small employers – access and administrative relief. SHOP provides access to a large selection of health plans that have previously been available only to larger companies. SHOP also takes over plan administration, relieving businesses with fewer than 50 employees of the burden of dealing with employee health insurance.

California’s approximately 375,000 small companies with 25 or fewer employees earning an average annual wage of less than $50,000 qualify for an additional benefit. These smaller businesses will be eligible for a 50% federal small-business tax credit when they purchase coverage through SHOP.

SHOP relieves small businesses of the burden of finding and administering health plans for their employees. The business sets up a customized SHOP profile and receives a unique group ID. Employees login to the SHOP exchange and select a plan from the available qualified health plans. SHOP handles enrollment, eligibility, adds, changes, and terminations. The SHOP Exchange provides the employer with the necessary reports to integrate employee premium deductions into their payroll system. The employer writes just one check and the Covered California platform sends the premiums to each health insurance carrier.

For more information about health insurance for small businesses in California, please contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services.