Covered California and small business

Affordable health care for you and your employees.

Providing health care coverage to employees comes with its own unique challenges. Covered California offers small businesses a wide range of health plans year-round, so that they can attract employees, retain them, and help them to stay healthy, happy, and productive. Federal tax credits may also be available for eligible employers to help offset the cost of providing health insurance coverage. Find out how Covered California can help your business.

You may qualify for a tax credit

Small business owners may qualify for a federal tax credit to help offset the cost of providing health insurance by purchasing coverage with Covered California for Small Business (CCSB). To qualify for a tax credit, employers must contribute at least 50% of their employee premium costs. The maximum available tax credit is 50% of insurance premium expenses and is available for a total of two consecutive years.

Learn more about CCSB and how to calculate your tax credit at

Here’s a quick guide to some of the changes. 

Cost-sharing reductions

Due to uncertainty at the federal level, an additional surcharge was added to 2018 premiums for all silver plans. This cost-sharing reduction surcharge increased the gross premium price of Silver-tier insurance plans. Most consumers did not see a significant change in the net price of their monthly premium because their financial help increased as well. Learn more about cost-sharing reductions on the Covered California website.

Coverage levels

Most health insurance newly sold to individuals and small businesses must now be classified as one of four levels of coverage: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum. In addition to those four levels of coverage, a minimum coverage plan is available to those who are younger than 30 or can provide certification that they are without affordable coverage or are experiencing hardship.

Essential health benefits

All health insurance plans offered in the individual and small-group markets must provide a comprehensive package of items and services, known as essential health benefits. These benefits fit into 10 categories, and include services like prescription drugs, behavioral health care, and emergency services. View all benefits.

Dental coverage

All Covered California health insurance plans offer embedded pediatric dental coverage. This means that dental insurance for children is included in the price of all health plans purchased in the exchange. In addition, Covered California now offers supplemental dental coverage for adults, through optional family dental plans.

We partner with top-rated providers to ensure our youngest members have access to high-quality oral care services. Delta Dental is our provider for individual, family and small employer group plans.

Vision coverage

Covered California offers consumers a pathway to quality vision care. Vision care benefits for children are included in all health plans purchased through the exchange. Vision care for adults is not offered in Covered California health plans, but Covered California works with certain vision insurance companies to offer vision coverage directly to consumers.

We’re proud to partner with Vision Service Plan (VSP) to provide pediatric policies as supplemental riders to individual, family and group plans. Our youngest members under 19 years old have access to the highest-quality eye care services.

If your benefit plan includes vision services, employees can search for an in-network eye doctor at by creating an account or logging in.

Find health care resources for small business