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Individual Health Insurance Trumps That of Small Businesses in California

According to a recent report by the California Healthcare Foundation, individual health insurance coverage in California has surged over the last few years, growing by 47 percent in 2014 and surpassing the coverage in the small-business market, which declined 11 percent last year.


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Source: iStock.com/shironosov


The data shows the impact that Obamacare has had on the state of California. The individual health insurance market has been booming over the last two years because of the Covered California marketplace, which was established in part to offer premium assistance to those with lower incomes. Not only is it easier for California residents to obtain individual health insurance, they also have a financial incentive to do so – not buying health insurance will result in a fee that they will have to pay under Obamacare law. This fee grows by the year – in 2014, it was 1 percent of your household income or $95 per person – whichever was higher. This year, it’s 2 percent of your household income or $325 per person – whichever is higher.

The number of small businesses that have dropped benefits in the last few years has risen substantially, although the number of businesses that have done this to let employees get their own health insurance through Covered California remains unclear. This is the first time that individual health insurance has surpassed small employer group coverage, although there is no old data to compare it to since it wasn’t until 2012 that legislation required the California Department of Managed Health Care and the California Department of Insurance to publicly release its end-of-the-year enrollment figures for the insurers and health plans that they regulate.

Individual health insurance coverage in California continues to grow while small employer group coverage has been declining. For more information about health insurance coverage in California, contact the Benefits Store.

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