California Small Businesses Exempted from Obamacare Through 2016

This week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill which pushed off implementation of Obamacare's mandates on small business insurance until 2016.

Governor Brown signed SB 1446 Monday. The bill allows businesses with fewer than 50 employees to renew and continue to offer health plans which were already in effect as of December, 2013 until December, 2016. In effect, plans will be grandfathered until that date, even if they do not comply with Obamacare mandates on "essential benefits."

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement reported by the Sacramento Bee, "The signing of SB 1446 is a victory for all California small businesses, as small employers who need time to transition to Affordable Care Act-compliant policies will now have additional time to make the transition."

Of course, not everyone is celebrating. Small Business Advocate Scott Hague told Employee Benefits News, "I think it’s just mucking up the system and delaying things." He added, "It’s going to make it more difficult to implement the ACA and I think it will create problems for Covered California."

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is designed for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The federal site to allow businesses to shop for SHOP plans for their employees is set to go live November 15th of this year.


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