Last week CoveredCA, California’s state-based health insurance exchange, announced the carriers, plans and rates for its Small Business Health Options program. These health insurance plans will be available to qualified small businesses with 50 or fewer employees in California. Carriers offered include Blue Shield of California, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, SHARP Health Plan, Western Health Advantage and Chinese Community Health Plan.
Anthem Blue Cross is noticeably absent, confirming that California insurance commissioner Dave Jones got his wish when asking that Anthem not participate. Despite Anthem’s absence, CoveredCA touts the SHOP as a victory for employer and employee choice, calling the SHOP a “full-choice small-group market” offering “expanded choices” in their official release.
Despite the Federal SHOP being delayed until 2015 , CoveredCA’s program will be implemented according to the ACA’s original timeline, with enrollment begining October 1, 2013 for a January 1, 2014 effective date.