Covered California Could Be a Model for Small Business Health Coverage


Covered California for Small Business Can Be Used as a Model

Covered California, the state’s public health exchange, seems to be stabilizing the health care market in California, even as similar programs in the rest of the country seem to be floundering. For this reason, the program could serve as a model for the rest of the nation — and for the small business sector in particular.

Covered California for Small Business

When it comes to the small business section of the marketplace, Covered California just announced a 5.6 percent increase in premium rates for 2018, which is down from the 5.9 percent increase for rates in 2017.

The program also enjoys a fairly high participation rate among insurance companies. Only one insurer left the marketplace over the past year. And small businesses still have five different Covered California plans to choose from in 2018.

The individual sector isn’t quite as stable, with higher premium increases and a reliance on federal subsidies. But as most of the state’s residents get coverage through an employer, stabilizing the small business sector seems like a decent place to start.

And it seems to be working. Membership in Covered California for Small Businesses jumped 27 percent in the last year. So the exchange now covers about 35,000 workers.

Unfortunately, similar programs in the rest of the country aren’t enjoying this level of stabilization. Small businesses like local restaurants have struggled due to the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act. And without access to markets as stable as the offerings of Covered California, many businesses don’t have great options for providing coverage to employees.

At least Covered California is demonstrating it is possible to have a public health marketplace with fairly stable rates and decent options for small businesses. If other states are able to follow suit, it could lead to a much better situation for businesses around the country.

Image: Covered California

Comment ▼

Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*



Free e-Book: 8 Insights You Need to Know Before Choosing HR Software for Your Small Business




Learn how to navigate the HR software market, avoid getting oversold on unnecessary features and choose the right tools for your small business's unique needs.






No, Thank You