Can my small business get group rates?

I am looking for group rate health insurance. My husband and I own a two-person plumbing contractor in California. He gets his insurance from the VA, but I can’t be covered on his plan.  How could I get a group rate for health insurance?  Are there groups I can join?  Or am I stuck buying health insurance on my own?

Wanna Be A Groupie

Dear Wanna Be A Groupie,

If your two people work full-time, your business can get group rates all by itself.   Under California law, small employers are guaranteed group coverage, regardless of the employees’ health status.  A “small employer” is defined as a business with 2 to 50 full-time employees.  Check out the California Health Care Foundation guide for small businesses considering offering health insurance.

If you want to look at more options, try the National Association of Self Employed.  They also offer health plans in California. You would have to join the association as a member.

The other website that I find very useful is It takes you through a series of questions, and then gives you links and information about options available in your state.

Keep in mind that group rates are not always lower than individual rates.  You should also look at purchasing individual coverage, though the benefits will be less generous.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.