Covered California

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
December 2, 2013

Add this to the list of Cyber Monday shopping possibilities: California small businesses can now self-enroll through the state health insurance exchange’s online marketplace.

On Monday, Covered California launched the new function to allow owners of businesses with up to 50 employees to sign up for health care through the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, with coverage beginning Jan. 1.

In a statement, Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said more than 1,500 small business owners already have explored their options since Oct. 1 — with some registering, checking eligibility or working with certified agents to obtain quotes.

California’s latest launch contrasts sharply with the troubled rollout of the federally-run Healthcare.gov, the exchange for residents of three-dozen other states without state exchanges. On the eve of Thanksgiving, President Barack Obama announced a one-year delay for small-business signups through Healthcare.gov.

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