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California Works To Help Small Businesses Navigate State Exchange

In a California Healthline report by Rachel Dornhelm, experts discussed a program aimed at helping small businesses offer health insurance to their employees — one lesser-known aspect of the state health benefit exchange.

When the Affordable Care Act became law, it not only mandated an individual health insurance market but also required that small employers have a marketplace specially tailored for them to provide their workers with coverage. The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP exchange, has comprehensive coverage at a fair price, experts say, leveling the playing field so small companies can compete with larger companies with strong benefit packages for their employees. However, the incentive to buy for many business owners is that it also offers a tax credit.

So far, at least 1,500 small employers have registered with the Covered California exchange.

The report includes comments from:

  • Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.);
  • David Chase, California director of the Small Business Majority;
  • Virginia Donohue, owner of a small business in San Francisco; and
  • Anne Gonzales, spokesperson for Covered California (Dornhelm, California Healthline, 1/9).

You can download a PDF transcript of this report.

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