SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The enrollment program for small businesses on the state’s health insurance website is now live.

Covered California’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is in its open-enrollment period after the function on the federal website was delayed for a year.

“The SHOP Program is transformative for small businesses by giving them a way to compete with large employers that offer choice and small businesses often don’t,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee.

Lee said several health insurance companies are participating in SHOP, giving small business more options.

Statewide, Lee said Kaiser, Blue Shield and Health Net and then three of California’s “premier regional plans” [he lists Western Health Advantage, Sharp HealthCare, and The Chinese Community Community Health Plan in the Bay Area] are all participants.

Licensed insurance agents also are working with Covered California to help small businesses enroll and have been doing so since open enrollment began on October 1st.

There is no penalty under the Affordable Care Act for businesses with fewer than 50 employees that don’t offer insurance.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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