Covered California Chooses Four Insurance General Agents for SHOP

Covered California has chosen four insurance general agents to offer product and sales training to brokers in the exchange's Small Business Health Options Program, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 9/3).

Background on Exchange

The state health insurance exchange primarily will serve individuals and small businesses.

Supporters hope that the exchange will function similarly to websites like Amazon and Expedia, allowing users to choose among various health plans through an easily navigable online store.

The exchange is expected to open for registration in October, and an estimated five million people will purchase plans through the exchange in 2014 (California Healthline, 9/3).

Background on SHOP

Under the Affordable Care Act, SHOP allows small businesses to offer either a single plan to all of their workers or select a benefit level and allow employees to choose among several plans offered at that level.

Covered California officials said there are six insurers that will offer SHOP plans:

  • Blue Shield of California;
  • Chinese Community Health Plan;
  • Health Net;
  • Kaiser Permanente;
  • Sharp Health Plan; and
  • Western Health Advantage.

The plans will include both HMOs and PPOs (California Healthline, 8/2).

Details of General Agents

Four insurance general agents have been selected for the SHOP marketplace, including:

  • Claremont Insurance Services in Walnut Creek;
  • Dickerson Employee Benefits in Los Angeles;
  • LISI in San Mateo; and
  • Warner Pacific Insurance Services in Westlake Village.

The agents will be responsible for:

  • Overseeing proposals from brokers;
  • Assisting in packaging health insurance with other products, such as dental coverage;
  • Underwriting assistance;
  • Aggregating benefit and rate information for multiple insurers and products in SHOP;
  • Supplying quotes;
  • Recruiting agents to promote SHOP enrollment; and
  • Converting paper applications to an electronic format (Sacramento Business Journal, 9/3).

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