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Anthem Blue Cross Spurns CA SHOP Exchange

Anthem Blue Cross (Blue Cross of California) announced today that the carrier will not participate in the Covered California SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) Exchange in 2014.  This leaves Blue Shield of California as the lead Blue carrier in the public small business exchange market (same as it was under "PacAdvantage" exchange (HIPC) which collapsed when Blue Shield pulled out some years ago due to inability to meet low premium price points).

Anthem Blue Cross CA will continue to sell health plans to small businesses outside of the SHOP and also will continue to participate in the California Choice (CalChoice) small business private exchange.  

It should be noted that employers purchasing small group coverage plans from CalChoice Exchange will have the ability to offer multiple tiers to employees, whereas the SHOP exchange will require all employees to participate only in a single benefit tier (Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze) offered by the employer at the time of enrollment. SHOP does not allow movement up or down in tiers even at the employee's expense.

Recently Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones requested that Anthem Blue Cross be barred from participation in the SHOP exchange.  Anthem says that Jones has nothing to do with the decision.



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