Small Businesses Face Decisions as PacAdvantage Closes
Enrollees in Pacific Health Advantage's insurance purchasing pool will lose coverage either Nov. 30 or Dec. 31, depending on their insurance provider, the East Bay Business Times reports.
PacAdvantage in August announced that it would close the program by the end of the year after the pool's three major providers -- Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of California and Health Net -- withdrew (Hogarth, East Bay Business Times, 11/24).
The program provided coverage for 6,000 small businesses and 116,000 people in California.
PacAdvantage was created by the state in 1992 as the Health Insurance Plan for California and was taken over in 1998 by Pacific Business Group. The independent, not-for-profit purchasing pool was intended to make a variety of health insurance plans more available and affordable for businesses with between two and 50 employees (California Healthline, 8/14).
Kaiser officials said that some employer groups that have already chosen new coverage options are either offering Kaiser directly or through the CaliforniaChoice insurance pool. Some groups are offering plans that can be paired with other Kaiser coverage.
Health Net in October began offering an "Options" plan that offers a choice of 10 plans for businesses that enroll at least five employees and 15 plan choices if at least 10 employees are enrolled. The plan is offered alongside Kaiser (East Bay Business Times, 11/24).