SHOPing with new choices for small employers and their workers…

Covered California, the state marketplace for individuals, families, and small businesses buying health coverage, and a core component of implementing the Affordable Care Act, announced today the health plan options and premiums that will be offered to small employers next year, starting in January 1, 2014.

Here’s the PRESS RELEASE from the Exchange: “Covered California Announces Health Insurance Plans for Small Businesses

This announcement provides small employers with new options and tools to help them provide crucial health benefits to their workers. It’s good news for consumers that that many of California’s major insurers are participating, and that more small businesses will be able to offer a choice of plans
and competitive premiums.

For too long, individuals and small businesses were left all alone at the mercy of the big insurers, without the bargaining power of large employers and public programs. Now small employers and their workers will get the benefits usually reserved for large employers, including a choice of plans.

Here’s some more information from the Covered California website:

Californians should be proud that not only were we the first state in the nation to set up a new insurance marketplace under the ACA, but that we are one of the few that negotiates with the insurer for the best value, and that offers the workers of small businesses a choice of plans. Consumer advocates strongly organized for employee choice, even when it was delayed at the federal level, not just as a benefit to workers, but as a way for Covered California to be an attractive option for employers.

Quality health coverage isn’t cheap, but Covered California helps get the group discount for the rest of us–for individuals and small employers. And beyond the negotiated premiums, small low-wage buisnesses can get a tax credit to help afford coverage, through this new exchange.

Once again, California is proving that health reform works when there’s the will to make it so. We hope this announcement by Covered California helps dispel a lot of the misinformation about Obamacare, which has been especially prevalent in the small business communities. We hope those employer organizations who were ideologically opposed to Obamacare recommit to at least inform their members of the new options and benefits of the law coming online soon.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.