At CaliforniaChoice, we’re committed to helping you and your employees make educated decisions about your health benefits. We’ve created several tools to help you gain a better understanding of health insurance and get acquainted with the CaliforniaChoice program.
This flyer describes the key components of the CaliforniaChoice multi-carrier, private health insurance exchange for small business. It features a quick overview of “Why CaliforniaChoice?,” calling out special benefits such as:
- Eight health plans in one program
- Cost control
- Optional benefits
- Single source administration
- Smart Decision Technology tools
- Value-adds through the Business Solutions Suite and the Member Value Suite
- Payroll solutions
We’ve created a variety of short videos to help you better understand the benefits of CaliforniaChoice. Each video addresses different components of our program, including:
An Introduction to CaliforniaChoice
With access to eight of California’s leading health insurance carriers and plans – plus optional benefits like Dental, Vision, and Chiro – CaliforniaChoice combines everything you need into one program. It also gives employers like you more time to spend on your business and less time worrying about employee benefits.
Multiple Options, One Program
Get an overview of how CaliforniaChoice offers employees HMO, PPO, EPO, HSA, and other options to find the coverage that works best for their individual or family needs.
Defined Contribution makes it easy to control your costs because you choose what amount you want to contribute to employee benefits.
Health Insurance Plans
Employees choose the CaliforniaChoice coverage that best meets their needs and budget. One employee might choose a PPO, while another selects an HMO, EPO, Health Care Service Plan (HSP), or Health Savings Account (HSA) qualified coverage. It’s their choice.
Ease of Administration
Similar to the way you may bundle your phone, cable, and Internet at work or home, CaliforniaChoice bundles dozens of HMO, PPO, EPO, HSP, and HSA options for your employees. We then send you one consolidated bill for all employees’ coverage at the end of the month.
Additional Plans and Perks
CaliforniaChoice offers more than Medical benefits. Our program includes Dental, Vision, Chiropractic, and Life Insurance plus valuable savings on other products and services through our Member Value Suite and Business Solutions Suite.
When you work with a broker, you get an industry expert dedicated to helping you make the right health insurance decisions for your business. Even better, there is no cost to you.
This informative guide provides additional details on CaliforniaChoice, including information on:
- Access to care through eight leading health plans
- Controlling business costs through Defined Contribution
- Optional benefits: Dental, Vision, Chiropractic and Acupuncture, and Life and AD&D
- Streamlined enrollment and renewal
- Smart Decision Technology: Online Provider Search, Online Rx Search, Online Enrollment, and our Automated Choice Profiler with side-by-side plan comparisons and cost estimators
- No-cost extras available through our Member Value Suite and Business Solutions Suite
Learn More About CaliforniaChoice
To learn more about the CaliforniaChoice program and the benefits available to you and your employees, contact your broker.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a long list of requirements for small businesses. To help you keep track, we created an ACA Compliance Checklist.
- Use a Group Size Calculator to determine whether your business had an average of 50+ full-time (FT) plus full-time equivalent (FTE) employees in the prior year. If so, your business is an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) subject to the ACA Employer Mandate during the next business year. An FTE Calculator is available from your agent or on the Healthcare.gov website.
- If your business is an ALE, you can use an Affordability Calculator to determine whether your health coverage meets one of the ACA Affordability Safe Harbor guidelines. If it does not, your business is subject to an ACA penalty. More information on the ACA’s Affordability Safe Harbors is available here.
- Collect accurate Dates of Birth for dependents under age 21. Effective 1/1/2018, insurance carriers can charge one single rate for dependent children ages 0 to 14 years old and unique rates for dependents ages 15-20. Carriers may only charge for the three oldest dependent children under age 21.
- If your business just reached the 50+ FT plus FTE threshold for the first time, ask about eligibility for transition relief from the employer penalty, if you offer Minimum Essential Coverage with Minimum Value to your employees.
- Confirm you are not paying directly or reimbursing employees for individual health plans, unless you sponsor a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA).
- Review the impact of upcoming minimum wage increases on your employees’ affordability of coverage calculations and your overall company budget.
Health Plan Administration
- Verify your waiting period does not exceed the 90-day limitation.
- If you have an orientation period prior to your waiting period, confirm it is no longer than one month.
- If you have 50+ FTEs with variable hours who may or may not work full-time, it is important to consider the lookback measurement method as well as administrative and stability periods. Click here for guidance on the IRS website.
- Review Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) documents to make sure they reflect the current limit ($2,700 in 2019) and include any grace period/carryover provision.
- If your business has difficulty meeting carrier participation guidelines, you may want to talk with your agent about the ACA’s annual one-month Special Open Enrollment Window (SEOW), when eligible small groups can enroll in coverage without having to meet standard employer-contribution and/or employee-participation ratios. The SEOW occurs November 15-December 15 each year, allowing groups to enroll for coverage effective January 1.
- Confirm you are applying a 30-hour full-time definition to determine employee eligibility for coverage.
- Confirm you have not changed employees to 1099 status to avoid the ACA employer mandate.
- Determine if use of Professional Employer Organization (PEO) or staffing agency personnel increases your group size to 50+ FTEs due to IRS common law employee rules.
- Deliver Department of Labor Mandated Notice (New Health Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage) to new employees within 14 days of hire.
- Deliver Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and Uniform Glossary to employees at enrollment, renewal, and to new hires.
- Deliver 60-day notices of modification, if you make plan changes outside of renewal.
- If you had average of 50+ FT plus FTE employees in 2018, prepare to give copy of IRS Form 1095-C (for 2019) to FT employees by 1/31/2020.
While not all of the items apply to every small business, this Checklist may be useful in determining how you can stay in compliance with the ACA.
More Help Available
If you have additional ACA compliance-related questions, talk with your employee benefits agent.
No matter the size of your business, you should consider making team-building part of your company culture. The time spent away from the office is shown to improve communication, boost morale, and promote creativity and collaboration.
- Better communication: Team building requires employees to communicate successfully and work together to achieve a common goal.
- Improved employee morale: When employees’ feel their thoughts and ideas are being considered, it helps build a better connection across all levels of the organization and increases morale. It also breaks down barriers between leadership and employees.
- Promotes creativity and collaborative problem solving: If your employees can work together and think outside the box when dealing with a challenge, they will build connections that can benefit your organization in the future.
- Fun for all (with the right activity): Team building can be fun, as long as the selected activity does not put any employees at a disadvantage or makes them feel embarrassed in any way. Read this Forbes article to make sure you understand the potential downsides of team building.
Here are five easy and inexpensive team-building ideas for your business.
1. Scavenger Hunt
This is a great option for multiple small groups. Depending on your work environment, you can have the hunt onsite or at a nearby location like a shopping center. Tasks can include taking a selfie with a stranger (possibly dressed in specific attire – like a hat) or photographing an object in the office or neighborhood. Make a list, set a deadline for task completion, and whatever team completes the most items on the list first wins.
2. Possibilities Game
The idea behind this game is for team members to talk and come up with potential new uses for common office items like a stapler or letter opener. Then, a member of the team must present the new use to the larger group without speaking, while others guess what’s being presented.
3. Truth or Lie?
Each person secretly writes down two truths and one lie about himself/herself. The objective is for the lie to be believable rather than over the top. Then you go around the group and share your tales, trying to determine which is real and which is not for each employee. It’s the perfect opportunity for your team members to learn more about one another.
Another variation on this game is “Who Is It?, where employees write down a fact about themselves, put it in a box and then draw out the facts and attempt to figure out to whom it applies in the group. The team with the most accurate guesses wins. You can also deduct points for wrong guesses.
4. Best Moments
Ask your team members to think about the best moments from their lives. This can be something achieved on their own (like running a marathon), an event or accomplishment they’ve shared with others (like a personal or professional achievement or event), or an exciting life adventure (like hang-gliding, getting married or taking part in a friend’s or relative’s wedding in an exotic locale, whatever).
After a couple of minutes, ask everyone to consider what 30 seconds in life they would want to relive if given the opportunity. This allows individuals to look back on their lives and share some moments with co-workers who may not know them well. Your facilitator can ask everyone why they chose that particular event and moment.
5. Escape Room
You can take your team off-site to a venue designed just for this purpose, or you can hire a firm to come in and create an escape room, murder mystery, or other themed event at your worksite. The concept presents your team members with puzzles they must solve in order to “find the key” or otherwise escape the venue. If they reach the time limit for the game, they are set free whether they have found the key or not. Escape rooms are popular for team building because they require workers to collaborate to find the exit or solve the mystery.
These are just a few ideas to help get you started. Whatever activities you choose, team building can help you foster a highly motivated, positive corporate environment that pays off big in the end.