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Colorado health insurance exchange

colorado guide to health insurance

More than 277,000 covered through Connect for Health Colorado

April 3, 2014

While March 31 was the last day to apply for a commercial health plan for coverage in 2014, Connect for Health Colorado granted a two-week extension to those who started their applications before the deadline. Those who weren’t able to complete their applications now have until April 15 to sign up with a health plan. See the Connect for Health Colorado website for more information. Individuals who failed to apply by March 31 may have to pay a penalty: $95 or one percent of income, whichever is greater. People who get married or divorced, change jobs, have a child or experience another qualifying event may be eligible for a special enrollment period to purchase commercial insurance before the next open enrollment period. Enrollment for Medicaid and through the small business marketplace, also called the SHOP, continues throughout the year.

As of April 1, signups through Connect for Health Colorado totaled 277,149. More than 116,600 signed up for private health plans and more than 158,500 qualified for Medicaid.

According to enrollment data compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), only 57 percent of those Coloradans who purchased private insurance between Oct. 1 and March 1 qualified for assistance to offset the cost. Nationally, 83 percent qualified for financial assistance. Colorado’s relatively low rate of financial assistance and the high premiums in some areas of the state explain why 38 percent of plans sold in Colorado are bronze plans compared to 18 percent nationally.

Gov. John Hickenlooper informed the federal government in October 2012 that Colorado intended to run its own health insurance marketplace, and the state received federal approval of its plan in December 2012.

Unlike politicians in most other states, Colorado legislators voted on a bipartisan basis to move ahead with a state-run exchange. Legislation to establish the state marketplace passed in May 2011 and was signed by Hickenlooper in June 2011. In early 2013, marketplace was given the brand name “Connect for Health Colorado.” Colorado’s marketplace is governed by a 12-member board and led by Executive Director and CEO Patty Fontneau.

For the 2014 plan year, Connect for Health Colorado offered 150 health plans from 10 companies for individuals and families.

Small businesses, which can purchase coverage anytime during the year, can choose from 92 health plans from six insurers.

About 1,300 certified insurance agents and brokers are available to help Colorado consumers. In addition, about 400 “health coverage guides” are certified to provide in-person assistance; guides can help consumers understand their options, but can’t promote a particular insurer or policy. Consumers can locate agents and brokers or an assistance site through an online search tool.

According to Kaiser’s State Health Facts, 16 percent of Colorado’s under-65 population is uninsured.

Colorado health insurance exchange links

Connect for Health Colorado
855-PLANS-4-YOU (855-752-6749)

State Exchange Profile: Colorado
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Colorado’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.

CO health insurance exchange news

State-by-state open enrollment extension details

Curious to see how your state is handling the open enrollment deadline?  Most states…

Legislators approve deeper audit of Connect for Health Colorado

Denver Business Journal — A House committee authorized a performance audit of the…

Bill to repeal Connect for Health Colorado unlikely to pass

Denver Business Journal — Rep. Janak Joshi was sharply questions by both Republicans…

Connect for Health Colorado employee indicted, placed on leave

Newsmax — Christa Ann McClure, a director for Colorado’s health insurance…

Limited enrollment in small-business marketplaces

Businessweek — The federal marketplace is not launching its Small Business Health…

Colorado’s resort areas tops in health insurance costs

Kaiser Health News — Colorado’s Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties have the…

Connect for Health Colorado averages 700 enrollments a day

The Gazette — Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15, more than 10,500 people selected private…

Colorado consumers rush to buy health insurance in second half of December

Between Dec. 15 and Dec. 31, 28,719 individuals enrolled in health insurance plans…

Enrollment jumps on Connect for Health Colorado

CNN Politics — About 5,000 people signed up for private health plans in Colorado in the…

Connect for Health Colorado board considers bonus request

Associated Press — Patty Fontneau, executive director and CEO of Colorado’s…

Voice your concerns to your
Colorado elected officials

tell your elected officials

Let your Colorado governor and legislators know how you feel about the state’s proposed health insurance exchange.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
136 State Capitol
Denver, CO 80203-1792
PHONE: (303) 866-2471
FAX: (303) 866-2003
Contact by e-mail
Contact your Colorado State Assembly Members