The world of group health insurance can be difficult to navigate for small business owners – beginning with the quote itself. Whether you’re looking for coverage for the first time or considering changing your plan, here are some insights that will help you understand your CaliforniaChoice health insurance quote.
Here’s a snapshot of the sections you’ll find in your quote for health insurance:
The first section provides an overview of how the CaliforniaChoice program works:
- Choice: You set your own budget, have a diverse selection of coverage options, and have no minimum participation across the eight plans offered through CaliforniaChoice.
- Access: We offer the most doctors and hospitals in a single program. You can also choose from multiple provider networks. With so much choice, you and your employees may be able to keep your current doctor, medical group, specialist, hospital, and prescriptions.
- Solution: As your needs change, you can stay in the CaliforniaChoice program and only change your selected health plan. It’s that simple.
- Optional Benefits: You can add Dental, Vision, Chiropractic & Acupuncture, Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment for your employees, too.
- Online Enrollment: CaliforniaChoice online enrollment helps you by speeding up your group’s enrollment, increasing efficiency, and offering you better control.
- Value-Added Extras: The Business Solutions Suite and Member Value Suite give you and your employees valuable benefits at no added cost. Through the Business Solutions Suite, depending on your group size, you may be eligible for a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), COBRA billing services, a Premium Only Plan (POP), and HR support from Mineral. Our Member Value Suite offers CaliforniaChoice members access to discounts on entertainment, dental and vision care, wellness, hearing services, and prescription drugs. Ask your broker for details.
Your proposal includes a copy of the census provided to us for your group. All of the information in your quote is based on this census, including any coverage for dependents. If you need to update your group census, talk with your broker.
3. Setting Your Health Care Budget
There are two ways to contribute to your employees’ benefits from CaliforniaChoice. You can select a Fixed Dollar Amount or a Percentage of Premium.
Regardless of your choice, the amount must equal or exceed 50% of the lowest plan premium. For example, if the lowest premium is $2,000 per month per employee, your fixed-dollar premium for each employee must be at least $1,000.
Your quote includes a summary for multiple Affordable Care Act (ACA) tiers – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – as well as Total Choice, which includes plans in all four tiers. Different columns on your summary in this section include:
- The lowest-cost health plans available by tier or tier combination.
- The total premium for employees in the lowest-cost health plan.
- The total premium for employees’ dependents in the lowest-cost plan available.
- The total group premium for the lowest-cost available health plan.
- Your net cost if you contribute 50% to employees’ premiums and 0% to dependents’ premium.
- Your net cost if you contribute 75% to employees’ premiums and 0% to dependents’ premium.
You can work with your broker to calculate different percentage contributions to premiums. With CaliforniaChoice, the choice is yours.
4. Ancillary Rate Summary
If you and your broker discussed Ancillary coverage – for Dental, Vision, Chiropractic & Acupuncture, and Life and AD&D coverage, the premiums (for employees and dependents) are shown in this section.
5. Employee Worksheet
Here you’ll find a sample Worksheet showing the plan options available to your employees. The Worksheet shows the monthly premium prior to your contribution and the cost per pay period to the employee.
It breaks down HMO, PPO, EPO, and other options from which employees can choose.
Information about CaliforniaChoice’s Smart Decision Technology is also summarized in this section.
Your quote summarizes the consolidated administration available to you and your employees through CaliforniaChoice, including:
- Enrollment services: Choose a paper or online enrollment for your group. Working with your broker, we offer onsite meetings or virtual enrollment meetings, where we walk your employees through our program.
- Coverage updates: Employees can make online updates when they have a qualifying Life Event such as marriage, birth of a child, or other eligible changes.
- Customer service: We take service seriously. When you call, you’re likely talking with someone who not only works for CaliforniaChoice, but is also an active member who understands the program inside and out.
- Account changes: Managing your account and your employees’ benefits is simple at calchoice.com. With an online account, you can update your profile and billing information, generate a New Hire Quote, review and approve pending changes, order ID Cards, and more. You can also download forms and documents (including your Administrative Handbook, Group Service Agreement, and more). If you still have questions, you can schedule a meeting with your account representative directly from our website.
- Billing: We’ll send one monthly bill for all of your employees’ coverage. What could be easier? Set up Auto Pay and never miss a bill again. It’s simple and secure.
A sample invoice is also included in this section of your proposal, along with Employee and Dependent Rates, Medical Benefit Summaries, and Ancillary Benefit Summaries.
Talk With a Broker
Getting a custom quote for CaliforniaChoice starts with your broker. If you don’t have a broker, we can help you find one.
Offering a comprehensive employee benefits program is a proven approach for attracting strong talent in a competitive market. Year after year, in survey after survey, employee benefits rank highly in what motivates employees beyond good pay.
Employee Benefits Package
In the MetLife 19th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study from last year, employees prioritized their top benefits in this order:
- Health Insurance – 85% said it is a “must have” and another 10% said it’s “nice to have”
- 401(k) or other retirement plan – 78% consider it a “must have” and another 17% said it’s “nice to have”
- Paid and unpaid leave – 71% consider it a “must have” and another 23% said it’s “nice to have”
- Dental Insurance – 70% consider it a “must have” and another 25% said it’s “nice to have”
- Vision Insurance – 67% consider it a “must have” and another 25% said it’s “nice to have”
- Life Insurance – 61% consider it a “must have” and another 30% said it’s “nice to have”
- Disability Income – 51% consider it a “must have” and another 39% said it’s “nice to have”
- Health Savings Account – 46% consider it a “must have” and another 39% said it’s “nice to have”
- Critical Illness – 44% consider it a “must have” and another 43% said it’s “nice to have”
- Flexible Spending Account – 42% consider it a “must have” and another 41% said it’s “nice to have”
- Accident Insurance – 42% consider it a “must have” and another 45% said it’s “nice to have”
- Financial Wellness – 38% consider it a “must have” and another 44% said it’s “nice to have”
- Hospital Indemnity Insurance – 38% consider it a “must have” and another 45% said it’s “nice to have”
- Cancer Insurance – 35% consider it a “must have” and another 47% said it’s “nice to have”
- Home Insurance – 32% consider it a “must have” and another 39% said it’s “nice to have”
- Auto Insurance – 32% consider it a “must have” and another 41% said it’s “nice to have”
- Legal Services – 32% consider it a “must have” and another 44% said it’s “nice to have”
BestMoneyMoves.com found similar results in 2021, with Financial Wellness Programs ranking first, followed by Flexible Work Arrangements, Health Insurance, and Paid Time Off.
Beyond helping you attract and retain workers, there are additional advantages to offering a comprehensive employee benefits package, including:
1: Higher job satisfaction for employees: Employees value benefits and tend to feel more favorable about their jobs when they have a strong package (and you as their employer, too). When employees are happier, they’re more productive and show increased company loyalty.
2: Reduced absenteeism: When you have healthy employees, they are on the job more regularly. They take less time off due to illness, are more focused and productive, and less prone to injuries.
3: It’s tax deductible: Employers can generally deduct the full cost of premiums for employees’ (and dependents’) health insurance as an ordinary business expense. That can save you money on your federal and state business taxes. Some firms may qualify for a tax credit.
4: Reduced costs/savings for workers: Group health plans are usually cheaper than individual health plans. Even if employees are contributing to the cost, their share is lower than what they might pay for coverage in the private insurance marketplace (or through a public state exchange like Covered California).
5: Reduced payroll taxes: In addition to benefits being tax-deductible for your business, you can reduce your payroll taxes when you offer your employees a Section 125 Premium Only Plan (POP). That’s because a POP lets employees pay their share of premiums with pre-tax money, increasing their after-tax income. Further savings are possible if any employees have a High Deductible Health Plan, a POP, and a qualified Health Savings Account (HSA). You can usually deduct your HSA contribution for employees from your business taxes, too.
There are additional advantages offered by CaliforniaChoice, the multi-carrier private exchange built for California small businesses:
• More choice: You and your employees can select coverage from eight leading health plans – Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna + Oscar, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, Sharp Health Plan, Sutter Health Plus, UnitedHealthcare, and Western Health Advantage
• Plan diversity: We offer a roster of 100+ HMO, PPO, EPO, and HSA-qualified options, so it’s easy to find coverage that best suits your individual or family health care needs
• Greater cost control: Defined Contribution means you decide just how much you want to spend on your employees’ health care – and it’s locked in for 12 months
• Single source administration: It’s easy to manage your benefits through one website and toll-free number when you or your employees need assistance
• Value-added extras: In addition to great health care, you and your employees have access to Dental, Vision, Chiropractic, and Life Insurance, HR support, a Flexible Spending Account and Premium Only Plan, COBRA services, hearing services, and the ChooseHealthyTM program offering savings on health and wellness – plus discounts through Cal Perks on hearing, prescription drugs, entertainment, travel, and more
Talk with your broker about all of the ways employee benefits can help you, your business, and your employees. If you don’t already have a broker, we can help you search for one. Using a broker won’t cost you more. In fact, it may help you save more because a local broker will help you compare plans in your marketplace.