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

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

We have mailed our customers their Forms 1095-A  and they should expect to receive printed copies next week. The Form 1095-A lists coverage dates and any premium tax credits received throughout the year to support customers in filing their 2018 tax return. Additionally, customers can get an electronic version of the form in the “My Documents” section of their Connect for Health Colorado online account.

In the News

You may have seen that the Colorado Division of Insurance released a statement amending the regulation governing short-term limited duration health benefit plans. The updated regulations require these plans to provide many of the same protections afforded by Affordable Care Act (ACA) qualified plans. The new regulations, which will take effect on April 1, are explained in this blog.

Take care,

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

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

We’ve had a nice dose of winter here in Denver this first week of post-Open Enrollment.  We are now shifting gears for Special Enrollment Periods that have helped keep Coloradans covered as their circumstances change throughout the year.

This week, I was invited to the governor’s office with many of our partner stakeholders to witness Governor Polis sign an executive order to create the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care. The Office will be led by Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera and its goal is to study, identify and implement policies that will lower health care costs while ensuring all Coloradans have access to affordable, quality care.

Over the past few days, I also spent time with community leaders from across the state at the 2019 Voices of Rural Colorado Legislative Visit. It’s a good opportunity to understand the various issues our rural communities are facing in more depth. In addition, attendees had a chance to hear from Governor Polis about his vision for rural Colorado.

During Bill Lindsay’s presentation, there was a frank discussion on the rising cost of health care and the solutions that are being explored. As one of our 2017-2020 strategic plan goals is to advocate to improve access to coverage in rural areas of Colorado, I am committed to finding ways to keep Connect for Health Colorado a part of the solution-making process. This was just one opportunity to have a seat at the table to work on solutions together.

In the News

In this statement, Colorado Division of Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway urges insurance companies to work with furloughed federal employees, as well as federal contractors and their workers, by providing assistance and flexibility, especially concerning missed premium payments and possible cancellation of policies.

A recent study published in Health Affairs indicates Medicaid expansion has had an impact in reducing poverty by protecting enrollees from out-of-pocket expenses they otherwise would have struggled to afford.

Stay warm and dry!

Take care,

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

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

It’s a wrap – our sixth Open Enrollment period closed on Tuesday night. We reported on Wednesday that more than 169,000 Coloradans selected health coverage for 2019, an increase of 2 percent over last year’s Open Enrollment period. We will have a full report on this Open Enrollment once the dust settles and we’ve had time to analyze more of our data.

A sincere thank you doesn’t seem like enough. I know many of you worked long hours and supported us through this successful Open Enrollment Period. I am proud to have such a great team to ensure Coloradans have access to coverage, in all 64 counties.

And, of course, our lights stay on through the year to enroll anyone with a “life change event.”

As mentioned last week, we are actively engaged at the state Capitol. We are monitoring several bills that connect to our mission of increasing access, affordability, and choice for individuals and small employers purchasing health insurance in Colorado.

Two early bills of particular interest are House Bill 19-1004, which would take exploratory steps around the creation of a state option for health care coverage, and Senate Bill 19-004  which would develop a pilot program for certain individuals to participate in the group plan offered to state employees. We plan to watch these closely and remain active in discussions about them at the Capitol.

You may also be interested to see our initial draft of our Policy Agenda Principles, which we will continue to refine. These Principles will serve as our framework through which we’ll gauge progress toward improving the wellbeing of our state and our organization.

In the News

An article in the Gazette on our Open Enrollment results took note of the increase enrollments overall, including an 8 percent jump specifically in El Paso county.

Thank you again for being our partner in progressing health coverage in Colorado.

Take care,

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

January 1 plan selections set new sign up record

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

We are happy to see a strong enrollment through our Dec. 15 deadline. We reported on Monday that more than 156,000 Coloradans made plan selections. That number is up 5 percent ahead of signups one year ago. We have increased the number of plan selections for coverage effective in January for five consecutive years. But we’re not finished.

As you all know, Colorado’s Open Enrollment period continues through Jan. 15, 2019. We appreciate your continued hard work helping Coloradans enroll.

As a reminder, our Customer Service Center will be serving customers with adapted hours over the holiday: Dec. 24 open from 8 a.m.– 2p.m., closed Dec. 25; open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday (Dec. 26-28). The following week, hours include 8 a.m.– 2 p.m. on Dec. 31, closed Jan. 1, then open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays beginning Wednesday, Jan. 2.

We know that last Friday’s ruling from a Texas federal district judge has raised questions about the future of the Affordable Care Act. It’s important to remember that this, the latest of many court challenges, is far from over. The law remains in place while the case moves through the expected appeals. Colorado has also passed state laws that protect those with pre-existing conditions, which are not impacted by this case. You can reassure your customers that their financial help and pre-existing condition protections remain in place.

We also want you to be aware that, in light of the substantial health, financial and social impacts of the proposed Public Charge changes, we submitted public comment on the matter. We asked that the Administration not move forward with any aspect of the proposed changes. Read our full comment here.

In the News

We were happy to see when KREX, a Western Slope news station, shared a story about one of our customers and the positive impact health insurance has had for her family.

Wishing you and your families a happy holiday season. You’ll hear from me again after the New Year begins.

Take care,

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

As the December 15 deadline nears, thanks for staying the course

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

As we announced this week, the pace of plan selections continues to run ahead of previous years, but there are plenty of people yet to act to avoid a gap in coverage. With just more than a week until the December 15 deadline, we know we owe it to many of you for the success of getting Coloradans covered so far.

There is a flurry of activity to make sure people enroll to have Jan. 1 coverage. This weekend, assisters are offering walk-in enrollment events in Aurora, Montrose and Fort Collins. We’re excited to host Get Covered Sunday events in partnership with the Colorado Black Health Collaborative at churches in Aurora and Denver. Our calendar is full of events running through to the end of Open Enrollment.

I was also pleased to host Sen. Rhonda Fields in our office recently for a conversation about why it’s important to get enrolled. Take a look at this video of her helping us get the word out. Her support is having an impact.

We met with our legislative oversight committee this week to update members on our progress this Open Enrollment Period and on our strategic plan. We value the collaboration and partnership we have with this committee.

In the News

We are pleased with the news coverage of our Open Enrollment this week, including this piece in Colorado Sun. I was also featured on Colorado Health Institute’s podcast, the Checkup.

Thank you for your continued hard work and for staying the course this sixth Open Enrollment period.

Take care,

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

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

We are just a few weeks into our Open Enrollment Period and we have reason to be optimistic.

We reported Friday that we have seen 25,614 medical plan submissions through Nov. 15, our fastest start ever and a 13 percent increase over last year’s pace in the comparable period.

At the same time, we have been working hard to address call hold times at our Customer Service Center. After adding staff and making adjustments to the call technology, as of Friday, we’ve reduced average hold times to less than two minutes.

Our Customer Service Center will be closed Thursday so that our staff can celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. They will be working normal hours, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Wednesday and Friday.

We appreciate all that you do to support our work and hope that you will have time with friends and family over the holiday.

Take care,

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