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Covered California for Small Business

Small Business Health Insurance

How to choose the right small business health insurance plan

Assess your needs

First, determine what your small business needs in a health insurance plan. Consider the following:

  • Who will be covered? Consider the needs of your employees and their dependents to find a plan that will suit the diverse medical and financial needs of the group.
  • How much cost sharing can you afford? Premiums for small business health insurance are paid by the employees and the employer. Make sure consider how much cost sharing makes sense for your business.
  • What kinds of benefits are important for you and your employees? While federal privacy laws prohibit employers from inquiring about employees medical history, it’s important to ask your employees which types of benefits are important to them.

Compare small business health insurance options

There are a lot of factors to consider when weighing your small business health insurance options. 

  • Monthly premiums: Know what you and your employees will be able to pay on a monthly basis.
  • Deductibles, copayments and coinsurance: Ensure these types of payments will be manageable for you and your employees when you receive medical care.
  • Medical provider networks: If you already have a preferred doctor or facility, make sure they'll be included in your new coverage.
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Decide if you'll be adding Dental and Visions coverage

Small business health insurance enrollment process

Enrollment is the process of getting your employees and their dependents signed up for your new health plan. Once you've selected a plan, one of our licensed agents will assist you through the enrollment process.

We’re your advocate

If you ever need help dealing with the health insurance company regarding claims, billing or need any assistance, we’ll be there for you.

Who Is Eligible

Eligibility Guidelines

You are eligible for Covered California for Small Business if:

  • You have at least one but no more than 100 eligible employee and meet certain contribution and participation requirement
  • You have at least one employee who receives a W-2.
  • The majority of your eligible employees live in California.

The majority of your eligible employees live in California.

You are eligible for Covered California for Small Business if you have 100 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees.

If you are a sole proprietor, with no W-2-receiving employees, you may be eligible to purchase coverage through Covered California’s individual marketplace.

For questions about CCSB eligibility, please contact covered one of our Certified Agents for Small Business at (877) 344-1744, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., or email [email protected] 

Benefits for Your Business

Covered California's (MyCCSB portal) enables you to complete the initial enrollment process all online. You can manage your account, make plan changes, update employee information, renew your coverage and more!

Billing is simple with all health insurance premiums on one consolidated monthly invoice. Pay online using MyCCSB for added convenience.

Federal tax credits to lower the cost of coverage are available to qualifying small businesses.

Benefits for Your Employees

Peace of mind and financial protection in case of a major accident or illness.

Compare and choose health insurance plans, costs, doctors and hospitals.

Control costs by choosing the plan that fits your employees’ needs and your budget.

Tax Credits

Your business could be eligible for a tax credit that’s only available through Covered California for Small Business.

With Covered California for Small Business (CCSB), you decide the level of coverage and provide employees with health insurance that fits your budget. Small businesses that purchase coverage through CCSB may be eligible to receive a federal tax credit to help offset the cost of providing health insurance.

The amount of credit you are eligible to receive works on a sliding scale. The smaller your business, or the lower your annual average wage, or both, the larger your credit will be.

The maximum tax credit available is 50 percent of premium expenses as a for-profit employer. The maximum credit for tax-exempt employers is 35 percent. This credit applies to two consecutive tax years. Small businesses must purchase health insurance through CCSB to be eligible for the tax credits offered.

Your tax credit will depend on a number of factors such as:

  • Number of employees: The business must have less than 25 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Owners and immediate family members of the owner are not counted as employees when calculating the tax credit.
  • Average wage of employees: The employees must have an average annual wage of less than $54,000 per year. This limit has been adjusted for inflation since 2014.
  • Employer-paid premiums: The employer must contribute at least 50 percent of the cost of insurance coverage for each employee.

To apply Employers need the following:

  • Your Business Name and any DBAs
  • Your Federal Employee Identification Number
  • Your DE-9C State Withholding statement. Most recent quarter
  • Total number of Employees
  • Total FT employees
  • Employee and dependent census: name, date of birth, home zip code.

Applying for Covered California, whether you are an individual applying for yourself and/or your family, or if you are a Small Business can be complex. It’s important for you to have a Certified Insurance Agent near you that you trust to provide the right information and help you find the insurance company to meet your needs and budget.

Ascend Benefit Solutions Insurance Services is that trusted Certified Insurance Agent.