Individual Health Plans
A common misconception is that Covered California is a Health Insurance Carrier. While this is not true, you can purchase medical coverage through Covered California. Some call this a "market place" or "exchange". Essentially, Covered California is a place that you can purchase health insurance through various carriers and quite possibly get Federal assistance to pay a portion of your health insurance premiums.
In Santa Rosa and the surrounding areas, their are five options for health insurance through Covered California. These include Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of California, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, and Western Health Advantage. The actual coverage through the various carriers is quite similar. The networks of doctors and facilities is where the main difference lies. The price also varies, but not as much as the provider networks.
Small Business Health Options Program
Through Covered California, small businesses can offer a number of health carriers at the same time and not have to deal with the eligibility requirements that you would otherwise face. Many companies have the problem of one employee wanting Kaiser Permanente, another wanting Anthem, and others yet wanting Health Net. Covered CA somewhat alleviates that problem. However, depending on which county you are in, only certain health carrier may be offered. For example, in Sonoma County SHOP offers Kaiser Permanente, Western Health Advantage, and Health Net.