A “California Different” Way to Offer Employee Benefits

August 25, 2023by Alex Strautman

At CaliforniaChoice, we recognize that you and your employees are all different. CaliforniaChoice is different, too. That’s why we offer you a “California Different” way to provide benefits to your employees.

Our program doesn’t force you or your employees into a health care decision based on limited options. It acknowledges that your health should be your choice.

We believe you and your employees should have the opportunity to choose a health insurance plan that fits your unique needs. That’s why we offer Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO), and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans. Our roster includes High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) and Health Savings Account-compatible plans, too.

Operating Since 1996

Many people first heard the term “health insurance exchange” in connection with the public exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That was in 2010. But we’ve been around since 1996. We were California’s first private health insurance exchange.

Other benefits programs may give you one or two options from a single carrier. But we offer 130+ options from eight leading insurers and health plans:

You and your employees can choose coverage from:

  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • Cigna + Oscar
  • Health Net
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Sharp Health Plan
  • Sutter Health Care
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Western Health Advantage

You might choose a PPO from Anthem Blue Cross for yourself because you or your spouse will have access to a particular doctor or hospital in the Anthem network. Someone else in your group might prefer a local or regional HMO like Sutter Health Plus, Western Health Advantage, or Sharp Health Plan.

A third employee might want an HMO plan from Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, or UnitedHealthcare. Others might choose an EPO from Anthem or Cigna + Oscar. One or more employees might want an HSA-compatible plan or HDHP. With CaliforniaChoice, it’s your – and their – choice.

Greater Cost Control

Premium flexibility is another excellent feature of CaliforniaChoice. With Defined Contribution, you choose how much you want to contribute to employees’ premiums.

You can contribute a Fixed Percentage (50% to 100%) of a specific benefit or contribute a Fixed Dollar Amount for each employee. Your employees apply your generous contribution to whichever health plan and benefit plan they prefer. If an employee selects a plan that costs more than your contribution, he or she pays the difference.

When you renew your benefits, you have the option to change your premium contribution – up or down. That gives you complete control over what you spend on employee benefits for another year. Plus, your employees have the flexibility to change their health plan and still stay in the CaliforniaChoice program.

More Than Just Health Care

CaliforniaChoice goes beyond health insurance. We offer valuable extras for you and your employees through our Business Solutions Suite and Member Value Suite.

The advantages of the Business Solutions Suite include:

  • A no-cost Premium Only Plan (POP) that reduces your company’s payroll taxes and gives employees the ability to pay their portion of insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars.
  • State or federal COBRA participant invoicing, premium collection and remittance, and payment tracking. (Cal-COBRA or COBRA billing services depend on your company’s group size.)
  • A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that allows employees to put money away, pre-tax, to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses. (Available to groups with 15 or more employees.)
  • Rx discounts, an HSA Resource Center, and more

For employees, the Member Value Suite includes:

  • Reduced fees for Dental Care services through a network of more than 20,000 Dentegra® Smile Club providers.
  • Savings on hearing tests, hearing aids, batteries, ear protection, swim plugs, and more
  • Prescription savings of up to 80% using the California Rx Card; you could reduce your Rx out-of-pocket costs to less than your health plan copay.
  • A Cal Perks membership offering savings on theme parks, water parks, sporting events, museums, movies, travel, and more.
  • Members can improve their health with discounts on fitness center memberships and up to 57% savings on Fitbit, Garmin, and Vitamix, plus others.

Celebrate Your Workplace Differences!

Ask your broker about how you can offer more choice to your employees. Let them celebrate their differences, and still control costs for your business. If you don’t already have a broker, you can search for one at MyCalChoice.com.

Shopping for group health insurance?

This guide compiles a list of common questions you may have before you start offering health insurance coverage.