Small Business Health Insurance in California

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) law does not require companies of less than 50 employees to offer group health insurance in California or any other state. However, many small companies continue to offer group health care coverage as a way of pleasing retaining high quality employees.

Small Group Medical Insurance Quotes

You can get group health insurance quotes on employee coverage easily online. You will need the following information for each employee to calculate the costs:

  • Gender
  • Age or Date of Birth
  • Whether or not spouse and/or child(ren) will be covered

Employer contributions are required; however, the employer does not need to pay the entire cost. The minimum contribution is 50% of the employee only amount for the youngest employee on the least expansive plan offered. You may contribute a set dollar amount or a percentage. Legally, you must be consistent in the manner in which you contribute to the employees. Carve out options may be available, which may allow you to contribute more to some highly compensated employees. Ask your broker for details.

Plan Options for Small Business

Since the implementation of Health Care Reform, plan selection on small business health insurance in California has gotten easier. Coverage options include all of the metallic plans:

  • Bronze 60 (regular or HSA)
  • Silver 70
  • Gold 80
  • Platinum 90

California Carriers Offering Group Health Insurance

Most health insurance companies in California offer small business options. Choose from carriers such as Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, and United Healthcare.

For many workers in the U.S., one of the perks of being hired by a company is getting health insurance coverage from it. Employer-sponsored health coverage is the most common type of private health insurance in the country. Not everyone who works for a company or who provides services to a business is eligible for health insurance coverage from it, though. In many cases, part-time employees can’t get coverage. 

Independent contractors, or 1099 employees, also typically don’t get employer-sponsored health coverage. This is because independent contractors are technically self-employed. However, some companies might offer group health insurance to their independent contractors. Learn more about the difference between 1099 and other types of workers and what the health insurance options are for the self-employed.

The phrase “1099 employee” is technically a misnomer, as a person who gets paid on a 1099 basis is legally not an employee of a company. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)...


by Wendy Barnett

Covered California offers Small Business and Group Health Insurance in California to businesses with 1-100 employees at any time throughout the year and seeks to better the program experience by listening to customer concerns. For instance, the concern about a delinquency notification policy was recently addressed.

Covered California for Small Business (CCSB) had been sending out notices to both the employer and to employees whenever a policy was late on a premium payment. Policies are given a 30-day grace period for payment to be made, and notices to such effect were going out to both employers and employees on the 5th of each month. This was causing confusion for all involved.

In response to feedback from customers and agents, CCSB will now send out initial delinquency notices to employers only.  The employers will now be responsible to notify their employees of any potential cancellation of coverage due to non-payment. This new policy will begin in March 2017.

CCSB wi...


by John Hansen

If a group has under 50 employees, there is no penalty for not offering small business health insurance. With subsidies available and no denials for the individual and family plans, many expected a mass exodus in the small group health insurance California market. Many feared that a lot of small groups would cancel their health plans and send their employees to the exchange to get subsidies. However, far fewer groups have departed from the small business market than anticipated.

Some groups have left the small business health insurance market, especially the ma and pa groups who had group plans with under enrolled employees. Some of these smaller groups left to get the tax credits offered by Covered CA in the California Health Exchange. Others, due to increased requirements by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were forced off their small business medical insurance plans.

In California, the Obama Care requirements said that to qualify for group health insurance, you had to have...

Posted: July 25th, 2016

by Holly Davies

As a small business owner in the golden state of California, you may be wondering if you can offer affordable small group health insurance to your employees. The SHOP helps you offer a variety of plans while keeping group administration simple and keeping the cost as low as possible.

The SHOP Marketplace is a part of the official California Health Benefits Exchange and is the only place where you can access tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The maximum tax credits can be as high as 50% for a small business and 35% for nonprofits.  If you have fewer 10 or fewer employees earning less than $25,000 per year we can calculate your estimated tax credit. You will be required to cover 50% of the health premium for employees and the tax credit will lower the amount that comes out of your budget. Your group is one of kind, so we will help you discovered what you are eligible for.

The advantage of offering employer-sponsored health plans depends on your own business...

Posted: July 30th, 2014


Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.


Covered California is the Golden State’s official health exchange marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find high-quality, low-cost California government health insurance.


Learn about Obamacare income guidelines in California using our income limits chart, and see if you’re eligible for government assistance.


Learn about the Covered California website. Find easy online enrollment. Set up your account, log in, buy insurance and more on the California health marketplace website.