California group health insurance  -  Group health plans for Family Business

Family Businesses Moving Back to Group Health Plans

California family business moving back to Group health plans


With the recent Individual/family rate increases and doctor issues, many families are looking to get back to Employer sponsored health plans.

For good reason!

The ACA law really made it tough for mom and pop companies to enroll in group health.

We'll look at the rules, how to bypass them, and the benefits to this type of coverage.

Let's hit the reasons first for the big interest.

Pricing Changes since 2014

At one point, individual/family plans were about half the cost of group health plans.

With the most recent rate increases, those differences are almost completely gone and in some cases, group health plans be cheaper.

You can quickly quote the new Small Group rates here:

Quote group health plans

Business Health Plans Secret Weapon - their Networks!

This is the big reason people are moving.

"Nobody takes our coverage and we're paying $1000's each year for it!!"

We hear that all the time.

It's a major issue.

The individual and family networks are roughly 2/3rds the size of the group health plans.

Before 2014, the group and individual market had the same networks of doctors and hospitals.

That's no longer the case.

The hospital difference is especially pronounced.

The carriers signed exclusive deals with major hospital chains.

What if the dominant hospital in your area only contracts with one carrier and your doctors contract with another carrier.

From enrolling 1000's of people in the new ACA plans, this is very common.

Group health plans do not have this issue.

They typically contract with all the major hospitals and a large majority of doctors and other providers.

This is the biggest complaint we hear and now that the rates have risen on the individual/family market, there's no reason to stay there.

The third big reason for families to come back to Employer health plans is the drug formulary.

Group Drug Formulary Differences to Families!

The list of allowed medications is also quite a bit smaller with new ACA health plans.

The missing meds can be surprising.

We've research rx lists from different carriers for clients and some very basic medications have been missing from one list or another.

In general, there will be less "management" with group health plans and this includes paying for medications.

We're also seeing more management on the "mental health" and "chemical dependency" treatment with individual/family.

So..what's about eligibility?

Family business and Small Group Eligibility

First we'll discuss what the ACA law did for mom and pop businesses but more importantly, we'll let you know the loopholes!

The ACA law basically gutted the family business market.

Roughly 25% of our groups before 2014 were family businesses.

Sole proprietorships, Corporations, LLC's, and Parterships.

The ACA law came along and basically forced many of these groups into the individual/family market.

Here's how they did it.

There's a requirement in the law that said a company must have a non-owner or spouse on payroll and enrolling to qualify. can't just enroll with two spouses. Potentially, they could enroll their children if they're old enough to work but really hit a lot of family businesses.

Here's what we can do with some of the major carriers to still qualify:

  1. Have an eligible child (of working age) on payroll
  2. Have ownership in one spouse's name with a Corporation or LLC (where other other has no ownership) and have the spouse on payroll.
  3. Sole proprietor who files taxes separately and has other spouse on payroll.  (this can be trickier)
  4. Have another person on payroll (not spouse) as either part-time or full-time basis.


We need one person on payroll to get a small business plan.

The person can be part time or full time but keep in mind that outside of Special Enrollment (Nov 15th-Dec 15th most years), we need a certain % of eligible people to go with the plan.

We can help you navigate all the rules to see if there's a way in.

The first step is to see if the group health plans are priced well to begin with.

You can request your group health quote for families here:

You can quote Small Business Plans for Family Business plans here:

small business health quote

Or course, we're happy to walk through your situation to see what works best.

Our services are 100% FREE to you as licensed health agents with 20+ years of experience in California.


Call us at 800-320-6269 and we can go through any questions or run your Kaiser and Anthem plan quote.  Thanks!



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