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Covered California for Small Business –
New Blue Shield Plans

Starting July 1, Covered California for Small Business (CCSB) is offering new Blue Shield plans, providing more options for enrollees. These plans include the Access+ HMO Network with Platinum, Gold, and Silver metal tier options, as well as the Bronze Trio HMO 7000/70. The two most popular Blue Shield High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP), Silver Full PPO Savings 2300/25% and Bronze Full PPO Savings 7000 plans, are also now available.

All of these plans offer benefits such as Wellvolution, Teladoc Mental Health, Nurse Help 24/7, LifeReferrals 24/7, and the Blue Card program for when members are outside of California.

For assistance, please contact our Quotes team at or 800.696.4543.

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

What are the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

The paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) went into effect on April 1, 2020.

Under the paid leave provisions of the law, covered employers must provide to employees who are unable to work due to qualified Covid-19 reasons:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL): up to two weeks (or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave, paid at rates of pay based on the reason for the leave (illness, quarantine or school closures).

Emergency Paid Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA): up to twelve week of paid expanded family and medical leave to employees that are unable to work due to school closures.

The FFCRA provides employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing this leave.

Small Business Exemption. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption to provide leave for the school closure reason if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business. The rules governing this exemption are quite specific.


Helpful Resources

US Department of Labor (DOL)
Comprehensive Covid-19 resource page providing employers with information on –among other issues –the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA, including:

  • Fact sheets on FFCRA employee paid leave rights and FFCRA employer paid leave requirements
  • A comprehensive series of more than seventy FAQs to help businesses and their advisors. The FAQs address questions including:
    • How to determine if a business is subject to the law
    • How to calculate the number of hours of leave, and the rate of pay, when calculating the paid leave.
    • How to take advantage of the “small business” (under 50 employees) exemption.
  • Links to FFCRA posters that covered employers are required to conspicuously post in the workplace: either on the premises, on the employee website, or emailed or direct mailed to employees.

Claremont Partner Mammoth HR (with ThinkHR)
COVID-19 Crisis Response Center. Essential employer resources such as a COVID-19 HR Guidance and Best Practices recorded webinar, a summary of the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and sample HR policies that employers can adopt.

Claremont Partner HR Service, Inc.
COVID-19 Employer Toolkit. Helps employers navigate the Coronavirus challenges. Resources include a Families First Coronavirus Response Act Q&A, advice on remote working and telecommuting, information on all aspects of reductions in force, and more.

Helpful FFCRA flow chart
This helpful FFCRA flow chart (courtesy of Filice Insurance Agency) provides a visual step-by-step guide to assessing if an employer and employee are subject to the FFCRA provisions.


Claremont Insurance Services and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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