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If you’re an employer based in Northern California – or you have employees in the Bay Area, Sacramento, or other parts of the region – Sutter Health Plus is an employee benefits option you may want to consider. Sutter Health Plus expanded its service into a 15th county in early 2018 and now offers members access to more than 30 hospitals and campuses. The Sutter Health Plus network also includes dozens of health care centers, urgent care centers, and other medical facilities as well as more than 7,000 health care professionals.

When you offer Sutter Health Plus through the CaliforniaChoice multi-carrier, employee-choice exchange, your employees also have access to five additional health plan options in Northern California. (There are a total of eight options across the state.) CaliforniaChoice makes it easy for everyone in your group to find a plan that fits his or her individual or family health care needs.

 

A Long Health Care History

While the Sutter Health Plus health plan was launched in 2014, the history of Sutter Health dates back more than a century. The organization started out as a loosely knit community of independent medical providers, but today it is a Sacramento-based health care leader committed to serving the needs of nearly 80,000 members.

 

Bay Area and Valley Providers

The Sutter Health Plus provider network includes Bay Area and Valley Area physician organizations as well as a broad hospital network that encompasses both Bay Area and Valley Area hospitals and other related services.

 

Bay Area Physician Organizations

 

Valley Area Physician Organizations

 

Bay Area Hospitals

 

Valley Area Hospitals

 

Other Services

*Novato Community Hospital in Marin County serves southern Sonoma County

 

Plans to Fit You

Through CaliforniaChoice, you and your employees can choose from eight Sutter Health Plus plans; that includes two plans in each of the Affordable Care Act’s four Metal Tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Plan options include traditional, deductible, and Health Savings Account-compatible, high deductible plans.

 

Talk to Your Agent

If you want to get a quote for Sutter Health Plus for your employees – or you’re interested in offering Sutter Health Plus alongside other options from CaliforniaChoice – call or email your employee benefits agent. If you do not already have an agent, we can help you find one who will meet with you and discuss available options. CaliforniaChoice is a great way to offer your employees the coverage they want, while still giving you control over your employee benefits budget.

 

 

The California Assembly and State Senate both took action this month to ban the sale of short-term health insurance plans in 2019. The Senate approved S.B. 910, authored by State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), on August 21 after the Assembly approved the measure on August 16. The legislation now heads to the governor.

The Trump administration has been working to expand the availability – and the coverage period – for short-term health insurance plans. Recently released federal guidelines would expand short-term plans from 90 days to 12 months. Insurers would have the option to allow individuals covered by these plans to renew them for up to 36 months. States have the option to regulate the sale of such plans, which California is doing.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), short-term health plans do not have to include all of the “essential health benefits” of ACA-compliant plans. For example, short-term plans can exclude maternity care and prescription drug coverage, among other benefits. They can also deny an applicant coverage if he or she has a pre-existing health condition.

For years California limited the length of time an individual can be covered by a short-term health plan to six months. The Obama administration reduced the coverage period to three months. Under S.B. 910, the sale of non-ACA compliant short-term health plans in California is no longer permitted effective January 1, 2019.

The impact of the change could be minimal, although it’s not known how many residents might have been attracted to the plans under the broader federal rules. According to the California Department of Insurance, fewer than 10,000 short-term health insurance policies were in force at the end of 2017.

If Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill, California would join a handful of other states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, which have severely restricted or banned short-term health plans. Beginning in 2019, Californians could still purchase limited-term health policies; however, they would have to comply with the ACA’s consumer protections and essential health benefits.

Talk with your employee benefits broker about short-term coverage options for your employees if they leave your group health plan. If your group has 20 or more employees on more than 50 percent of your typical business days in the calendar year, you are subject to COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), and you may be required to offer coverage continuation to employees, spouses, and dependent children who lose coverage due to certain events. These include death, employment termination, reduction of hours (and qualification for benefits), eligibility for Medicare, divorce, or legal separation.