Covered California has delayed announcing which insurers will participate in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) until further notice. SHOP helps small business owners with fewer than 50 employees offer coverage to their employees.
In an August 2014 board meeting, Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said an announcement would be made about which insurers would be offering coverage through SHOP on September 15th, but last week it was reported that Covered California would be delaying the announcement.
“There’s not a big reason why, we just want everything in order,” said Covered California spokesman Dana Howard last week. “We’re thinking Tuesday, but there’s no statute on this — and we’d like to get this done the way we want it to take place. It could be Wednesday.”
Incentives Available through SHOP for Some Small Businesses Owners
The SHOP program is designed for businesses with 50 or fewer employees, which are not required by law to provide employees with health insurance. However, employers with between 2 and 25 employees who earn an average of $50,000 annually may qualify for tax credits for offering employees coverage. The credit is up to 50% of the employer’s contribution toward premium costs, and up to 35% for tax-exempt employers.
Earlier this year the SHOP online portal was removed from the Covered California website due to technical problems, leaving business owners only the option of enrolling via a paper application. Call BenefitPackages to learn more about SHOP.