Covered California for Small Businesses announces 4.6 percent average rate increase for 2019

Covered California for Small Business (CCSB) announced a rate increase of 4.6 percent for 2019 on Thursday.  The increase will apply to 5,700 small businesses who buy their insurance through the state sponsored exchange in California, which employ around 47,000 workers.

The rate increase is the lowest of the last five years. This is likely due in part to the fact that the exchange has posted large gains in enrollment to diversify the participant pool. CCBS has posted double-digit percentage growth in membership for four consecutive years and gained 12,000 covered individuals over the last year, a 33 percent gain.

“We are seeing a growing interest from the Agent community, as they see the value in our full PPO networks for their consumers and the choices we provide for them and their employees,” said Terri Convey, director of Covered California’s Outreach and Sales Division. “This market is working for consumers, bringing the power of choice and stability to California businesses.”

CCSB covers businesses with 100 employees or less. In addition, Federal tax credits may be available to employers with 25 or fewer employees. The exchange will offer five plans in next year, including two preferred provider organization (PPO) plans from Blue Shield of California and Health Net, and two health maintenance organization (HMO) plans from Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield. In addition, CCSB will include plans from Chinese Community Health Plan in San Francisco and Sharp Health Plan in San Diego. Family dental plans are optional and are provided by Delta Dental of California, Liberty Dental Plan of California, Dental Health Services, Premier Access, and California Dental Network.

“Our small-business exchange continues to grow as we offer a wide range of plan options to business owners and their employees across the state,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “The modest rate change and increase in signups reflect the strides we have made as we seek to offer employers coverage options more tailored to each employee’s needs The success of Covered California for Small Business is yet another example of how this new era of health care is working for Californians.”