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Covered California says small business health premiums will rise 5.2 percent statewide

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee.
Max Whittaker/Getty Images
Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee.

Mom and pop businesses with 50 or fewer employees that buy health insurance plans through California's state-run marketplace can expect an average premium increase of 5.2 percent in 2015, Covered California officials announced Monday. 

The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, allows small business owners to compare and buy employee insurance plans similar to those offered to large companies.  And it offers tax credits to qualifying businesses that do provide health insurance to workers.  

Unlike Covered California’s exchange for individual plans, SHOP offers business owners year-round enrollment and payment and start-date deadlines. 

There are six  insurers selling insurance through California's SHOP marketplace; three are in Southern California: Kaiser Permanente, Health Net and Blue Shield.