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.

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