Connect for Health Colorado and Colorado Medicaid Update: Enrollment Deadline Approaching

Ben Davis, ben@onsightpa.com, 303-522-6790 (Connect for Health Colorado)
Rachel Reiter, Rachel.Reiter@state.co.us, 303-866-3921 (Colorado Medicaid)

DENVER, CO – Between October 1 and December 14, more than 137,000 Coloradans have signed up or been approved for health coverage that takes effect January 1, 2014, according to data released today from Connect for Health Colorado and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. Coloradans are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible, and by December 23 at the latest.

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** More metrics information about Medicaid is available here and more metrics information about Connect for Health Colorado is available here

“It is a very busy time at Connect for Health Colorado as we support thousands of Coloradans who are signing up for health insurance that will begin January 1, 2014,” said Patty Fontneau, CEO of Connect for Health Colorado. “We are focused on encouraging Coloradans to sign up now for health insurance and providing a range of ways for customers to get the help they need to complete the process.”

“Coloradans who want health insurance coverage starting in January are encouraged to apply now and avoid the last minute rush,” said Susan Birch, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “Getting your Medicaid application in now will allow you extra time to get in person or on the phone assistance to help you through the application.”

The pace of enrollments has increased in recent weeks. Connect for Health Colorado will be taking applications until December 23 for January 1, 2014 coverage. However, we are encouraging Coloradans who want to use an advanced premium tax credit to reduce the cost of their health insurance to submit their application before December 20 to allow time for processing.

Coloradans seeking an advance premium tax credit must first be determined not eligible for Medicaid.  While you may get an immediate Medicaid decision upon application, errors on your application or problems verifying your information can delay application processing by the State.  The State is reviewing applications that do not get an immediate Medicaid determination in the order they were received.

Coloradans can also purchase health insurance until December 23 without applying for financial assistance and receive the tax credit, if eligible, when they file taxes in 2015. Coloradans who applied by December 23 but didn’t receive their Medicaid determination can also purchase health insurance and pay the first month’s premium and then get the tax credit applied to the rest of 2014 payments.

If you miss the deadlines, your application will be considered for a coverage start date later in 2014. Open enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado continues until March 31, 2014. Medicaid does not have an open enrollment period.

Through state laws, Connect for Health Colorado was established as a non-profit entity with a Colorado mission. In addition, Colorado is expanding eligibility for Medicaid. Private health insurance purchased through Connect for Health Colorado’s competitive marketplace and the expanded eligibility for Medicaid both take effect starting January 1, 2014. Enhanced federal funding that is available starting January 1, 2014 will support the Medicaid expansion.  Colorado.gov/PEAK is the online application for Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).  Medicaid and CHP+ do not have an open enrollment period and takes applications year round.

Connect for Health Colorado has been open since October 1 and operates with separate technology and customer service operations from the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov. Connect for Health Colorado is open to individuals, families and small businesses, offering health insurance options that will take effect as early as January 1, 2014. Open enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado continues until March 31, 2014. Individuals and families can choose from up to 150 private health insurance plans from ten carriers and small employers can create small group plans from up to 92 health insurance plans provided by six carriers. The Customer Service Center is open from 7 am to 8 pm Mondays through Saturdays at 1-855-PLANS-4-YOU (855-752-6749). The Customer Service Center will also be open on Sunday, December 20, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information is available at www.ConnectforHealthCO.com.

Colorado Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) are public insurance programs for low income Coloradans.  The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing administers these programs.  Coloradans have multiple ways to apply for coverage, Colorado.gov/PEAK is the online application for public assistance programs including medical assistance.  For more information visit Colorado.gov/hcpf or visit Colorado.gov/health. The Medicaid Call Center (800-221-3943 for general questions and 800-359-1991 to check application status) are available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Both call centers have increased capacity to accommodate customers and are experiencing high call volumes. In-person assistance will be available this week as part of the Holiday Connect to Coverage Tour, with stops in Limon, Aurora and Thornton. 

Key Dates

December 20, 2013 – Date by which Coloradans are encouraged to submit applications for financial assistance for coverage that starts January 1, 2014

December 23, 2013 – Deadline to select a private health insurance plan on Connect for Health Colorado that will take effect January 1 2014

January 1, 2014 – Earliest date coverage begins for newly eligible Medicaid or private health insurance plans purchased through Connect for Health Colorado

January 10, 2014 – Deadline for Connect for Health Colorado customers to make first month’s premium payment for January 1, 2014 coverage

March 31, 2014* – Open enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado ends

 

*Medicaid does not have an open enrollment period.