To Our Valued Stakeholders,

I think all of us recognize a higher than usual level of uncertainty around the individual health insurance market at a time when health insurance companies should be finalizing their rates and plans for the coming year. Yesterday, Colorado’s Insurance Commissioner, Marguerite Salazar pointed that out in a letter to the nine members of the state’s congressional delegation.

The announcement prompted some coverage in The Denver Post and the Denver Business Journal.

Legislative Update

House Bill 17-1235, which is the measure that would provide financial assistance to some Coloradans with income falling between 400% and 500% of the federal poverty level, was passed out of the State House on Monday and was assigned to the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. A hearing is scheduled this coming Monday.

In Recent News

A one-page summary of proposed amendments to the American Health Care Act became public yesterday and fanned coverage of renewed efforts by Republicans in Congress. According to a Health Affairs article, the package could be considered as early as next Thursday. This piece in Politico assesses the politics around the renewed conversation.

Two reports this week highlighted Colorado’s gains in signing up the “eligible but not enrolled” population. According to this Kaiser Family Foundation chart, Colorado saw the third highest rate in the country of increased Medicaid and CHP+ enrollments. In a fresh analysis of its 2015 data, the Colorado Health Institute noted our significant gains and those by Health First Colorado in reaching these folks.

Take care,

Kevin

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

April 10, 2017

Contact: Luke Clarke 720-496-2545
LClarke@Connectforhealthco.com

DENVER – The average household savings on health insurance purchased through Connect for Health Colorado® this year is $369 a month, according to an analysis released today by the state health insurance marketplace, up from an average $294 a month last year.

The savings come in the form of a federal tax credit applied to monthly insurance premiums for qualifying individuals and families who enroll in health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado®.

Overall, Coloradans received $318 million in tax credits in 2016.

Today’s report includes a county-level look at average premiums and tax credits for 2017. It covers enrollments during the three-month open enrollment period (Nov. 1, 2016-Jan. 31, 2017), as well as the “special enrollment period” that extended through March 2 for many Coloradans whose 2016 coverage was not available for 2017.

Customers selected 178,415 medical and/or dental plans through Connect for Health Colorado (including 174,678 medical) in the period between Nov. 1, 2016, and  March 2, 2017, according to the detailed report published on the Connect for Health Colorado web site.

“The impact our financial assistance program has in helping Coloradans protect their health and finances is clear in this report,” said Kevin Patterson, Connect for Health Colorado CEO. “We could not achieve this success without the help of our partners – in particular our Assistance Network, our licensed Brokers and our insurance company partners who support our mission to increase access, affordability and choice in health coverage for our state.”

A network of 961 certified brokers, 110 Health Coverage Guides and 290 Certified Application Counselors worked to assist Coloradans enrolling in healthcare coverage with seven health insurance carriers through the state marketplace.

Average tax credit by county: click here.

Enrollment by county: click here.

About Connect for Health Colorado
Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established in law by the Colorado General Assembly in 2011 to create a health insurance Marketplace.  It opened for business on Oct. 1, 2013, for individuals, families and small employers to compare and buy health insurance and apply for tax credits to help make their insurance more affordable. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or chat from expert Customer Service Center representatives; and find in-person assistance from certified brokers and agents, community based certified Health Coverage Guides or Certified Application Counselors. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

We are already building the foundation to support a possible new state assistance program that would be created by pending legislation, HB17-1235. The bill would provide some financial assistance for Coloradans who live in areas with some of the steepest health insurance premiums. The measure recently made its first step toward becoming law when the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee passed it and sent it to the Appropriations Committee. We’ll be talking to our Board of Directors about our work on this project in Monday’s meeting.

Legislative Update

The state Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed Senate Bill 3, which calls for moving our operations to the federal exchange. The next step would be a hearing before the full state senate before the measure could move to the state House of Representatives. Each step of this process is an opportunity for us to tell our story and the opposition to the bill has brought out many accounts of Coloradans who depend on us to get coverage.

In Recent News

The lack of clarity on the future of Cost-Sharing Reduction – financial assistance with co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles for some of our customers most in need of help – has been a major concern. Congressional Republican leaders recently spoke in support of keeping the payments through this year and 2018, as reported in the New York Times.

The national conversation that followed November’s election has made many Americans more aware of the effect state marketplaces and the expansion of Medicaid have had on the country. Polls show the Affordable Care Act’s popularity is growing. A Gallup poll released Wednesday showed 55 percent of respondents approving the law, up from 42 percent in November. That’s a big move in five months and the first time a majority said they support the law.

Take care,

Kevin

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

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

We are already building the foundation to support a possible new state assistance program that would be created by pending legislation, HB17-1235. The bill would provide some financial assistance for Coloradans who live in areas with some of the steepest health insurance premiums. The measure recently made its first step toward becoming law when the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee passed it and sent it to the Appropriations Committee. We’ll be talking to our Board of Directors about our work on this project in Monday’s meeting.

Legislative Update

The state Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed Senate Bill 3, which calls for moving our operations to the federal exchange. The next step would be a hearing before the full state senate before the measure could move to the state House of Representatives. Each step of this process is an opportunity for us to tell our story and the opposition to the bill has brought out many accounts of Coloradans who depend on us to get coverage.

In Recent News

The lack of clarity on the future of Cost-Sharing Reduction – financial assistance with co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles for some of our customers most in need of help – has been a major concern. Congressional Republican leaders recently spoke in support of keeping the payments through this year and 2018, as reported in the New York Times.

The national conversation that followed November’s election has made many Americans more aware of the effect state marketplaces and the expansion of Medicaid have had on the country. Polls show the Affordable Care Act’s popularity is growing. A Gallup poll released Wednesday showed 55 percent of respondents approving the law, up from 42 percent in November. That’s a big move in five months and the first time a majority said they support the law.

Take care,

Kevin

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

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

We are already building the foundation to support a possible new state assistance program that would be created by pending legislation, HB17-1235. The bill would provide some financial assistance for Coloradans who live in areas with some of the steepest health insurance premiums. The measure recently made its first step toward becoming law when the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee passed it and sent it to the Appropriations Committee. We’ll be talking to our Board of Directors about our work on this project in Monday’s meeting.

Legislative Update

The state Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed Senate Bill 3, which calls for moving our operations to the federal exchange. The next step would be a hearing before the full state senate before the measure could move to the state House of Representatives. Each step of this process is an opportunity for us to tell our story and the opposition to the bill has brought out many accounts of Coloradans who depend on us to get coverage.

In Recent News

The lack of clarity on the future of Cost-Sharing Reduction – financial assistance with co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles for some of our customers most in need of help – has been a major concern. Congressional Republican leaders recently spoke in support of keeping the payments through this year and 2018, as reported in the New York Times.

The national conversation that followed November’s election has made many Americans more aware of the effect state marketplaces and the expansion of Medicaid have had on the country. Polls show the Affordable Care Act’s popularity is growing. A Gallup poll released Wednesday showed 55 percent of respondents approving the law, up from 42 percent in November. That’s a big move in five months and the first time a majority said they support the law.

Take care,

Kevin

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

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

Along with much of the country, I have been watching the debate in the House of Representatives over the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The measure was withdrawn so what happens next is not clear. We continue to work with our representatives at the state and federal level to protect the health coverage of all Coloradans and find solutions to the challenge of increasing access, affordability and choice for all Coloradans buying health insurance.

Legislative Update

The Health, Insurance and Environment Committee in the state House of Representatives is scheduled on Thursday to take up discussion of the bill to provide financial relief to certain Colorado residents who are not eligible for any other insurance assistance program and spending more than 15 percent of their income on health insurance premiums. We look forward to the chance to administer this program, should the bill become law.

In Recent News

The claims and counter claims about the Affordable Care Act and the proposed American Health Care Act can be confusing for anyone. That’s why you might find this article published in the Harvard Business Review by two experts with the Commonwealth Fund helpful. The writers take a hard look at where each piece of legislation falls short and what they feel is needed in the health insurance market.

I’ll be taking a break next week on my Friday messages and will resume on Friday, April 7.

Take care,

Kevin

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