Many California’s small business owners are considering buying group health insurance to attract new employees and keep current employees.With the steep increase of individual health insurance premium of statewide average of 13.2% and for PPO policyholders increases of 20 % in 2017, even more employees will look for help to cover the cost of health insurance from their employees.
Here are some helpful tips on how a small business owner can prepare for the transition into ACA Compliant health plans:
1) Prepare your small group employee census and make sure that addresses and family sizes are updated. Check if any of your key employees would like to stay with a certain doctor or hospital.
2) Have an annual budget what you want to spend on your small business group health insurance.
3) Compare the rates of SHOP (the state exchange for small businesses) which offers Kaiser, Health Net and Blue Shield plans, along with other small carriers. Only enrolling in Shop will give you tax credits for your company. California Choice, a private exchange offering Kaiser, Health Net, Anthem, Aetna, United Health Care, and other small carriers is a good choice. Also take into consideration the offerings of single carrier combinations such as health plans from carriers such as Kaiser, Aetna, Anthem, Blue Shield, and United Health Care.
4) Renew early. You should receive the renewal rates by mid September for December 1st, and by mid-end October for January 2016. Keep in mind that the insurance carriers will be overwhelmed with processing all the group changes and renewal processes of individuals, families, and seniors in the months of October to December. At Solid Health Insurance we have already contacted all our existing groups and have started the renewal process to avoid delays of issuing health insurance ID’s for the employees.
5) Once you switch your health plan, tell your employee to stock up on their medication (a months supply), as there can be always unforeseen circumstances which might delay the employee ID cards.
My suggestion is to contact an agent and let him or her give you a single spreadsheet where she/he can show you a comparison of the rates offered by Shop, California Choice, and the most competitive single health plan carriers.