California health insurance  -  California Group Insurance  -  Group Health Insurance

California Group Health Insurance

Let's talk about our current landscape for California group health insurance and how it has changed with Health Reform since Jan 1st, 2014.

Group health insurance in California has changed quite a bit and aside from the cost of it, much progress has been made since AB 1672 brought guaranteed issue coverage to the market.

We'll investigate what to expect based on countless seminars on the subject from the changes coming and help to inform and empower California companies in advance.

What is "Group" health insurance?

First, let's define what California group health insurance is and also delineate small group from large group since this is impacted by the changing law.

We'll focus on Small Group (which is current 2-50 employees/owners) since the bulk of individuals that get coverage from themselves and their families fall into this category.

Group health insurance is coverage provided by and through an employer. The main benefit of group health insurance over individual family coverage is that it can be guaranteed issued which means that an eligible employee and eligible dependents cannot be declined due to health on a legitimate group health plan.

Group health rates are also subsidized by the employer (at least 50% of employee's plan cost...may or may not included dependents) although the rates tend to be higher than individual family due to the guaranteed issue nature.

Guaranteed issue was the real net net of AB 1672 in return for certain requirements on the employer (participation, contribution, and # of eligible people).

The Group health market in California

Many strong carriers offer group health plans to employers on the California market with flexibility that rivals large group plans in the form of cafeteria like plans.

With these options, an employee can choose from a range of HMO, PPO, and HSA plans with some kind of fixed contribution by the employer or a percentage of a given plan. Group health plans have renewal or anniversary months during which many changes are allowed to be made although there can be certain windows or qualifying events that allow changes outside of anniversary. Another benefit of group health insurance is continuation of coverage when someone leaves a group health plan. Most people have a Cobra or Cal-Cobra option available which allows them to continue their health coverage after leaving the group plan at their own cost.

What's new since the ACA Law

Everything has changed!

Here are the critical updates you need to know:

Tax Credits available for Small Businesses

Move to ACA health plans - 80% move in Q4 of 2015

Penalty for groups paying towards individual family plans

 

Related Pages:

Online HR Benefit System Saves Time and Money

5 Ways for California Companies to Save on Health Insurance

 

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