Helpful Tips Before Shopping for Small Group Insurance

This might be your first time shopping for group health insurance in California or maybe not. But whether you are the owner of the company, the manager, or HR, here are some helpful tips to make your experience in shopping and enrolling successful.


  • Have a copy of your current DE-9C Quarterly Wage Report before you go shopping. This is the most important place to start the eligibility process and determine how many of the listed employees are actually eligible to enroll in a group health plan. This report is submitted to the Employment Development Department each quarter by either you or your payroll specialist.
  • Take a census. Your census is information you collect about the people you want to insure. Simply collect the first name, date of birth, number of children and the home zip code for each employee or owner. Your health insurance agent will use this information to look up the rates for each potential enrollee and send you a quote.
  • Ask about the Employer Tax Credit. You may be eligible for this based on the number of employees you have and the annual salary information.
  • It’s OK if you don’t know exactly what you want for your employees. It is up to your agent to interview and get to know you and the specific needs of your unique group. They can also help you learn about topic such as employer contribution levels, COBRA, and the Affordable Care Act.
  • Look for an insurance agent who has experience. Agents are your best personal advisor and represent you to the insurance company. Due to regulations, any communications from an agent must include the agent license number issued by the California Department of Insurance.


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.