Statement from John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, on Covered California’s announcement of the participating carriers and plan rates for California’s SHOP Exchange
Today’s announcement that six carriers will participate in the small business portion of California’s health insurance marketplace, Covered California, is good news for Golden State entrepreneurs. They will offer plans whose rates are comparable to or less than 2013 small-group market rates. In order for California to have an affordable and healthy marketplace, there needs to be many choices and robust competition between carriers. This is a great step in that direction.
California’s health insurance exchange—a cornerstone of the law for small employers— will be a one-stop shop where our entrepreneurs can find the right health insurance policy for their needs and budget. It will allow small businesses to pool their buying power to help drive down coverage costs. Small employers that do offer coverage will also be eligible for a tax credit of up to 50 percent of their premiums through Covered California. Additionally, a critical provision for small businesses in 2014 known as employee choice will also be included, which allows small business workers to choose from a number of plans from different insurance carriers, while the employer pays just one bill. We know from our polling that California small businesses strongly support this provision.
Now that the carriers and rates for plans in California’s SHOP exchange have been announced, our state’s small business owners can compare plans and decide which ones meet their needs. The exchange is set open in 2014, with open enrollment beginning this fall. We now know California small businesses will have robust, affordable options in the exchange. It’s time to take this opportunity and educate our state’s entrepreneurs on how the exchange will work and the healthcare law could help them.
About Small Business MajoritySmall Business Majority is a national nonpartisan small business advocacy organization founded and run by small business owners and focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with small business owners, policy experts and elected officials nationwide to bring small business voices to the public policy table. Learn more about us on Wikipedia and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
# # #