Covered California announces the insurance carriers for the small business exchange SHOP in California by Barbara Kempen | Aug 2, 2013 | Affordable Health Insurance, Health Insurance Brentwood, Health Insurance Pacific Palisades, Health Insurance Santa Monica The California Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California, announced on August 1, 2013, the planned participants for the new Small Group Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplace. Six health insurance plans will be made available to the 500,000 small businesses across the state expected to purchase group health insurance through Covered California. Some of these groups may qualify for tax credits for their SHOP marketplace purchase. The health plan participants in the new Covered California SHOP marketplace will include: Blue Shield of California Chinese Community Health Plan Health Net Kaiser Permanente Sharp Health Plan Western Health Advantage The Covered California announcement on the SHOP participants can be found here. The publication of SHOP participants follows the announcement in May of the Individual marketplace participating health plans. This especially relevant for small companies. Small businesses are eligible for a federal health care tax credit if they have fewer than 25 full-time-equivalent employees for the tax year, pay employees an average of less than $50,000 per year and contribute at least 50 percent of their employees’ premium cost. Employers with 10 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees with wages averaging $25,000 or less per year are eligible for the maximum amount of tax credits. To be eligible for the federal tax credits, small businesses must purchase coverage through Covered California’s SHOP. Major health insurance carriers such as Anthem, United Health Care and Aetna are not part of SHOP the state exchange for small business in California. Also Healthnet with their strong HMO Plans will only sell PPO plans on the state exchange. For Los Angeles County inside SHOP , Blue Shield will offer a HMO (copay) and a PPO ( coinsurance) , Healthnet a PPO coinsurance only, Kaiser Permanente HMO (copay), HMO (coinsurance) and HMO (HSA) plan. Solid Health Insurance Services will keep you updated of the newest changes in the individual and small business health insurance world. Together we will fit a plan which is affordable and fits your health needs in California.