Connect for Health Colorado is soliciting responses from qualified entities that are able to provide information technology and security services. Interested parties can find the Request for Proposal through BidNet Direct, a part of the Rocky Mountain Purchasing System.

The Request for Proposal provides additional details and instructions on how to respond.

As a vendor, you must register with the Rocky Mountain Purchasing System to see all available bids and opportunities. If you need help registering, please call Rocky Mountain Purchasing System support at 800-835-4603; option #2.

We look forward to hearing from you.

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

Whew! What a ride that legislative session was! Our policymakers passed many bills concerning health policies that we monitored, and now that the session is over, our involvement in advancing this work is ramping up.

Specifically, Connect for Health Colorado was named as a stakeholder in House Bill 1004, in which a proposal will be developed about the design, costs, benefits and implementation of a state option for healthcare coverage. We were also named as a task force member for House Bill 1176. The bill calls for formation of a task force to review various healthcare financing systems and to determine the best option for Colorado.

We are eager to be a part of these discussions. Both initiatives have potential to save Coloradans money on healthcare, as well as help us advance our mission to increase access, affordability and choice for individuals purchasing health insurance in Colorado. I look forward to seeing some of the readers of this newsletter join the conversation.

As a result of our increased involvement in the health policy arena, we created a new leadership position at Connect for Health, the Chief Policy and Relationships Officer. This position will contribute to our strategic direction and fulfillment of our mission. Please spread the word to qualified candidates.

In the News

The Colorado Sun summarizes the outcome of the legislative session and some health bills, while the Colorado Health Institute includes a few of the important health bills accomplished the last week of the session.

Take care,

Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

From Grand Junction to the Colorado Capitol, I’ve spent time this week with many stakeholders and policymakers talking about what we achieved through our last Open Enrollment period, and our continuing engagement in the conversation for improving affordability and access to coverage for all Coloradans.

I traveled to Grand Junction last weekend to attend the Club 20 Spring Conference. I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with Western Slope communities and listen to stakeholders share opinions on current and ongoing legislation.  

Also, this week, I was honored to present alongside our Board Chair Adela Flores Brennan, and Board Member Steve ErkenBrack, to the Colorado House Health and Insurance Committee. We had the opportunity to educate policymakers about our work as well as deep dive into our Open Enrollment success. The meeting was another chance to make clear that we are happy to bring our insight and experience to the current state healthcare policy discussion.

Speaking of conversations about the future of healthcare in Colorado, I invite you to listen in on Monday afternoon to our Policy Committee meeting for a special presentation. Dan Meuse, Deputy Director of the State Health & Value Strategies program out of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, will lead a conversation regarding what other states are doing related to healthcare reform, and discuss the potential impacts to the Marketplace from Colorado’s reinsurance proposal and a possible public option. We welcome all interested stakeholders. You can find conference call information here.

If you are interested in further discussion about Colorado’s potential reinsurance program and the 1332 waiver application process, the Division of Insurance is holding two public meetings to gather input on the development of a reinsurance program and the corresponding 1332 waiver application process:

April 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events

April 29, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., in Denver, 1560 Broadway, Conference Room 110D (First Floor) or via a webinar.

In the News

The state Senate this week passed the bill calling for study of creating a public option in Colorado. It heads to another vote in the state House. Modern Healthcare had this report.  

Take care,

Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

It’s been a busy week! Members of our assistance network from across the state came to Denver to share ideas and best practices for helping all residents sign up for the health coverage they need. I attended their summit to thank them for their work helping Coloradans enroll in health coverage this past Open Enrollment period, as well as their year-round work of connecting with communities.

On another note, as you know, Connect for Health Colorado has been engaged with state policymakers along the way this legislative session. While we are closely watching various pieces of healthcare legislation, we are named as stakeholders in House Bill 1004 and House Bill 1176.

This week, upon the advice of our staff and Board of Directors, we took a position of support for the agency analysis and public engagement proposed in each of these bills. We believe the studies outlined in the bills are an important first step toward vetting all the proposed solutions that aim to improve access to affordable healthcare in Colorado. Having a seat at the table for frank conversations with our stakeholders, policymakers and the public is important to us as we look to evolve the healthcare landscape in our state. Read more about our position and these bills here.

Last but not least, you may have seen that last week, Gov. Polis unveiled the Roadmap to Saving Coloradans Money on Health Care. The governor’s office is seeking feedback about the availability of health information in Colorado to help implement the Roadmap. Participate in this survey by close of business April 17 to help determine reasons that Colorado consumers seek out information about health and wellness.

Take care,

Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

I’m proud to share that this week we were recognized as being one of the most competitive state marketplaces, according to data released in national reports. The study, published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute, notes that Marketplaces with greater populations and more competition among health insurance companies generally continue to succeed.

We dove into the numbers and concluded that 68 percent of Coloradans live in counties with four or more companies offering plans, while 11 percent of Coloradans live in counties with only one or two health insurance companies offering plans. Read more in our press release.

Too many areas of the state still only have one or two choices and would benefit from more competition. We recognize this and we are committed to working toward our strategic goal of advocating to improve access to coverage in rural areas of Colorado as well as our mission to increase choice for Coloradans who buy their own health insurance.

In the News

You may be interested to know that we can add another state to the list of state-based exchanges. New Jersey is moving forward to create its own Marketplace.

Take care,

Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

We released our report, By the Numbers, this week sharing data from the recent Open Enrollment Period.

Overall, medical plan selections increased by 3 percent over the previous Open Enrollment Period. We saw a 7 percentage point increase in the number of our customers who qualified for financial help, which means that 76 percent of the families and individuals who chose health insurance through the Marketplace qualified to receive help to reduce their monthly premium.

I’m pleased to report that the average net premium for customers receiving financial help is $117 per month, down from $136 per month last year. That’s a 14 percent decrease in net premium from last year.

County by county numbers are shown in interactive maps on page 12 of the report.

While we know there is a lot of work still to do to make health insurance affordable for every Coloradan, I am encouraged with this progress.

This report officially wraps up our work on the sixth Open Enrollment Period. As you know, we continue to enroll thousands of Coloradans who need a special enrollment period because of a qualifying life change event. Thanks for all you do throughout the year to help these customers.

In the News

The Division of Insurance released a study about House Bill 19-1168, also known as the reinsurance bill. The study, completed by the actuarial firm Lewis & Ellis, notes that the reinsurance program will reduce individual premiums by 23 percent. Read more in the DOI press release.

As you may remember from one of my recent updates, Connect for Health Colorado has voiced support for this bill. If enacted, the reinsurance program will provide significant relief on health insurance premiums in the individual market – on and off the Marketplace — particularly in rural areas.

Take care,

Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is soliciting responses from qualified entities that are able to provide call center services. Interested parties can find the Request for Proposal through BidNet Direct, a part of the Rocky Mountain Purchasing System.

The Request for Proposal provides additional details and instructions on how to respond.

As a vendor, you must register with the Rocky Mountain Purchasing System to see all available bids and opportunities. If you need help registering, please call Rocky Mountain Purchasing System support at 800-835-4603; option #2.

We look forward to hearing from you.

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

Connect for Health Colorado took on a significant technology initiative last year when we designed and launched a new application to determine eligibility for Qualified Health Plans and Advance Premium Tax Credits. The application provided a more streamlined enrollment experience during this recent Open Enrollment period, clear progress toward our goal of improving the customer experience.

After a few months using our new system, we are able to evaluate how it is working and find opportunities to improve. In February, we brought in experts to review our website, including our eligibility application and the shopping portal, evaluating how customers enroll in plans. They interviewed customers, Brokers, Assisters and other stakeholders to gather feedback on what customer needs we are meeting and where we can do better. We look forward to sharing our findings with stakeholders as we work together to better support our customers.

Washington, D.C., visit

I’ve been in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with Colorado policymakers, trade associations, federal regulators and other health policy organizations sharing information about our Open Enrollment period success and our thoughts on the future of healthcare reform in Colorado. I am pleased with the level of interest among members of the state’s congressional delegation and look forward to future conversations with our elected officials. The trip also provided an opportunity to confer with colleagues from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and other state-based marketplaces on how we continue to innovate to make affordable health coverage a reality for more people.

In the News

You’re not alone if you find the debate at the state and national level over “universal coverage” and “single payer” sometimes confusing. The Colorado Independent recently provided a helpful explanation of the key proposals on the table in our state.

Take care,
Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

I had the chance Wednesday night to voice Connect for Health Colorado’s support for HB19-1168 before the state House Health and Insurance Committee. The bill, which is sponsored by members of both parties in both chambers of the Legislature, would authorize the state insurance commissioner to apply for a state innovation waiver to allow Colorado to implement a reinsurance program to assist health insurers in paying high-cost insurance claims.

If enacted, the bill would provide significant relief on health insurance premiums in the individual market – on and off the Marketplace — particularly in rural areas. This aligns well with our mission to increase access, affordability and choice in the health insurance market. The committee voted to move the bill forward to the Appropriations Committee.

The insurance commissioner led off the conversation with this presentation.

Benefit and Payment Parameters

We signed on to a letter that all 13 state-based marketplaces sent to the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters. We also submitted our own comments that aligned with the combined state comments. I believe the statement from every marketplace sends the clear message about the importance of these issues in delivering our services to customers.

In the News

9News explained how Colorado’s reinsurance would work in this report.

Take care,

Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

Now that our sixth Open Enrollment Period has closed, we are excited to share data about who enrolled and from what part of the state. Our staff are busy crunching numbers. We will release our official Open Enrollment Report by mid-March.

While we are doing all of our calculations, this week, we shared some high-level data with our Board of Directors that you may find interesting:

  • 170,741 medical plan submissions for the 2019 Open Enrollment Period – up 2% from 2018 Open Enrollment Period
  • 22% new customers and 78% renewing customers
  • 77% of customers applied for and will receive financial assistance – up from 69% in 2018

We also shared specific county-by-county data.

In the News

In Colorado and in the national healthcare policy debate, there is a lot of discussion of public versus private healthcare. A Vox health writer provided some international examples this week, reporting that all of the dozens of countries with universal coverage rely in some degree on private health insurance.

 

Take care,

Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado