November 14, 2016
Contact: Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

DENVER — Between Nov.1 and Nov. 13, more than 16,000 Coloradans selected health coverage for 2017 through the state health insurance Marketplace, according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado®.

“The number of initial sign-ups during the first two weeks of Open Enrollment are very encouraging,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson.  “There has been a lot of talk about the future of healthcare since the election but I want everyone to remember that the financial help to buy health insurance is still available for next year. I urge everybody to review their options and complete their enrollment before the last-minute rush.”

The pace of sign ups is running 30 percent higher than last year, Patterson said, with 1,300 to 1,600 plan selections submitted each weekday during the first days of the annual Open Enrollment Period. Enrollees submitted 16,305 plan selections through Sunday. The total was 12,496 for comparable days in 2015. The 2017 plan selections include 2,648 customers who are new to Connect for Health Colorado.

November 9, the day after the election, saw more than 1,400 plan selections, one of the busier days so far.

Whether you are renewing or enrolling for the first time, you must complete enrollment by December 15, to have coverage January 1, and avoid a gap in your coverage. Open Enrollment runs through January 31.

Key dates and deadlines for individuals and families buying private coverage

  • Open Enrollment: November 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017.
    • You cannot purchase health insurance after this period unless you have a qualifying life-change event, such as marriage, divorce, having a child, losing your employer-sponsored insurance, or moving to Colorado.
  • Last day to enroll for coverage beginning January 1, 2017, is December 15, 2016.
  • Last day to enroll for 2017 coverage (absent a life change event): January 31, 2017.

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. In 2016, the Marketplace enrolled more than 170,000 Coloradans in private insurance and helped more than 100,000 gain access to new tax credits that made their health coverage more affordable – all while keeping fees among the lowest in the country. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

Media Contacts

Marc Williams (Colorado Medicaid)
303-866-3144

Luke Clarke (Connect for Health Colorado)
720-496-2545

Vincent Plymell (Colorado Division of Insurance)
303.894.2261

DENVER, CO – Today, updated estimates of the uninsured population were released showing Colorado’s uninsured rate has dropped to 6.7 percent. Along with uninsured rates, the Colorado Health Access Survey includes information by insurance type and has questions about access to care.

Below are statements in response to the new survey from leaders at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Division of Insurance and Connect for Health Colorado.

Susan E. Birch  MBA, BSN, RN  Executive Director
Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

“Today marks another milestone in Colorado’s journey to become the healthiest state in the nation – we now have one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country, 6.7 percent. Getting everyone covered was our first priority.  Now we turn our focus to improving the health of those we serve while getting the most value for every dollar we spend.  At Colorado Medicaid we are making strategic investments that reduce cost but improve health outcomes of our clients. We’ve been successful in that access to care has remained stable throughout this enrollment of new clients.

Our average cost per client in Medicaid has declined by over 9% since Fiscal Year 2008-2009. While part this decline can be attributed to changes in case mix, it also reflects our dedication to purchasing value and reducing costs as has been demonstrated by savings achieved through the Accountable Care Collaborative.  We’re seeing clear signs that health outcomes are improving, our clients are seeking out preventative medical and dental care.

“The historic numbers released today are due to the hard work of many partners across the state.  We achieved this milestone together, from individuals using technology to enroll online, to the medical assistance sites, county and community partners, brokers and others who provided in person or phone assistance to Coloradans needing to enroll in coverage, we all had a part in reducing our uninsured rate.”

Kevin Patterson, Interim CEO
Connect for Health Colorado

“Colorado set out to find a Colorado solution to expanding health care coverage well before the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land. Now, less than two years after full implementation of the law, it’s exciting to see our state as a leader in expanding health coverage. Yet, even as we celebrate this success today, we at Connect for Health Colorado see tremendous opportunity to grow access, affordability and choice for Colorado families and small businesses.”

Marguerite Salazar, Colorado Insurance Commissioner
Colorado Division of Insurance

“At the Division of Insurance, we ensure that a healthy, competitive health insurance marketplace exists for Colorado consumers, providing them with a variety of choices.  For 2015, there were over 1,000 plans from 20 carriers in the individual and small group markets, and we’ll have similar numbers when we announce the 2016 plans later in September.

“But while our role is about maintaining a competitive market, this news is also about parents being able to keep their kids on their employer plans, it’s about small employers wanting to offer coverage to their employees, it’s about people who were shut out of the system getting health insurance. And getting more people covered means more people have access to preventive care, which is the first step in attacking rising health care costs.

“While our work is not done, CHI’s numbers show that we have made huge strides in getting more people covered.”

About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing: The Department administers the Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus programs as well as a variety of other programs for low-income Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the department, please visit Colorado.gov/hcpf.

About Connect for Health Colorado: Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established 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 is the only place to apply for financial assistance in the form of tax credits to help lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access free, in-person assistance from a statewide network of certified Brokers, community-based Health Coverage Guides or Application Counselors. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

About the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI): The Division, part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholder with insurance issues. Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 1-800-930-3745.

Contact: Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

DENVER – Connect for Health Colorado® Board Chair Sharon O’Hara today announced two new members have been named to the Board of Directors for the health insurance Marketplace and three board members have been reappointed to four-year terms.

Marc Reece, senior director of state government affairs, Western Region, for Aetna and Jay Norris, a northern Colorado health insurance broker, were newly named to the board.

In his role, Reece oversees all government interaction for Aetna throughout the Rocky Mountain region and Texas.  Additionally, he helps lead company transparency efforts in an effort to bring members the healthcare and coverage information they need, when they need it.  Prior to joining Aetna in 2014, Reece served as the Associate Director for the Colorado Association of Health Plans (CAHP).  While representing the insurance industry at CAHP, he helped pass Connect for Health Colorado’s enabling legislation, SB11-200, and spent four years leading industry efforts to launch the state Marketplace.

Norris is an independent health insurance broker, serving the individual market in Colorado since 2002. He and his wife Louise took their brokerage – the Colorado Health Insurance Insider – online in 2003, and for more than a decade, he has worked to make the process of shopping and enrolling for health insurance as simple and efficient as possible.

Norris has been working with Connect for Health Colorado since 2013, helping clients sort through the available options and enroll in the plans that best fit their needs.

Dr. Michael Fallon and Arnold Salazar, both of whom were appointed to Connect for Health Colorado’s original board in 2011, are concluding their service.

Three board members have been reappointed to four-year terms:

  • Adela Flores-Brennan, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.
  • Steve ErkenBrack, president and chief executive officer of Rocky Mountain Health Plans.
  • Nathan Wilkes, Founder and Principal Consultant Headstorms, Inc., an IT consulting firm.

“We’re happy to welcome these new members to our board and welcome back those who have been re-appointed,” O’Hara said. “Their collective experience is deep and wide. They bring a strong strategic perspective to Connect for Health Colorado as we grow the Marketplace and increase coverage in our state for individuals, families and small businesses. We have the benefit of fresh points of view mixing with the perspective of board members who have been with us from the beginning.

“We are deeply grateful to departing board members Mike Fallon and Arnold Salazar for their dedication to improving the health of Coloradans by expanding access to affordable coverage,” O’Hara said.  “Each has worked tirelessly toward that mission, shaping Connect for Health Colorado into one of the most successful state based marketplaces in the nation.”

The Connect for Health Colorado board has nine voting members and three ex-officio members. They are appointed by Republican and Democratic leaders in the state Legislature and by the governor.

About Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established 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 is the only place to apply for financial assistance in the form of tax credits to help lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access free, in-person assistance from a statewide network of certified Brokers, community-based Health Coverage Guides or Application Counselors. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

Contact: Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling has no impact on customers of Connect for Health Colorado® – or in other states like Colorado that operate their own state-based health insurance Marketplaces (exchanges).

“We are fortunate that Colorado’s legislature in 2011, on a bipartisan basis, opted to create a state-based Marketplace. The questions raised in the court case have to do with the states operating within the federal exchange and do not apply to Colorado consumers. If you receive tax credits to help lower the cost of health insurance purchased through us, there is still no impact on your coverage.

“The case was a challenge to the subsidies (tax credits) paid to residents of the 36 states within the federal exchange, Healthcare.gov.

“This decision is good news to consumers in those states as it resolves the uncertainty surrounding the support they have relied on to ensure their financial security and ability to receive healthcare.”

Kevin Patterson,
Interim CEO, Connect for Health Colorado

About Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established 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 is the only place to apply for financial assistance in the form of tax credits to help lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access free, in-person assistance from a statewide network of certified Brokers, community-based Health Coverage Guides or Application Counselors. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

Contact:  Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

DENVER (Thursday June 4 ) –  Denise M. O’Leary, an investor in technology companies and a member of a number of corporate and non-profit boards, joins the Connect for Health Colorado® Board of Directors following her appointment by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The governor cited Ms. O’Leary’s expertise in healthcare economics and information technology in making the appointment to a term on the board that runs until July 1, 2017.

Ms. O’Leary serves as a director with American Airlines Group, Calpine Corporation and Medtronic, in addition to her service on the boards of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, the Denver Foundation and the University of Denver.

“We’re excited to welcome Denise to our Board,” says Board Chair Sharon O’Hara. “Her knowledge of healthcare and information technology, coupled with her leadership background in the corporate and non-profit business environments, are strong assets that will serve us well in achieving our mission to increase coverage in our state for individuals, families and small businesses.”

Ms. O’Leary graduated from Stanford University with a degree in industrial engineering and from Harvard Business School with an MBA. She is married to Kent Thiry, the chief executive officer of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

The Connect for Health Colorado Board has nine voting members and three ex-officio members.

About Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established 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 is the only place to apply for financial assistance in the form of tax credits to help lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access free, in-person assistance from a statewide network of certified Brokers, community-based Health Coverage Guides or Application Counselors. For more information:  www.connectforhealthco.com

Contact: Luke Clarke, [email protected], 720-496-2545

DENVER (May 15, 2015) Connect for Health Colorado®  Interim CEO Kevin Patterson on Friday committed the state health insurance Marketplace to improving the customer experience for Colorado families, individuals and small businesses buying health insurance, in a meeting with reporters.

“We recognize that thousands of our customers, our Health Coverage Guides, our Brokers and our carrier partners depend on us getting the right technology in place to make it easier to enroll in and renew health insurance coverage for 2016,” said Patterson, who took over as interim chief executive officer on May 8. “Our teams are working daily with our vendors, our federal and state partners and our stakeholders on fixing those parts of our eligibility process that did not perform well in the last Open Enrollment Period to ensure a better result during our next Open Enrollment.

“More than 150,000 people have enrolled in coverage for 2015 through us but too many were tripped up by technology and had to wait on hold to reach a customer service representative to complete enrollment,” Patterson said. “We know we can do better and we will have to do better to meet our mission to increase access, affordability and choice for Coloradans buying health insurance.”

Patterson also emphasized the successes the health insurance Marketplace has achieved since opening for business Oct. 1, 2013, including:

  • Launching on time and without the technical issues of other marketplaces for the first Open Enrollment – contributing to a statewide drop in uninsured rates.
  • Enrolling more 150,000 Coloradans in coverage for 2015 – about 10 percent ahead of last year’s pace.
  • Supporting competitive pricing among the 15 health and dental insurers vying for business.
  • Providing customers decision support tools not yet available in other exchanges — a prescription look-up tool and an online provider directory.

Open Enrollment for 2016 will be from November 1, 2015, to January 31, 2016.

About Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established by the Colorado General Assembly in 2011 to create a health insurance Marketplace.  We opened for business on Oct. 1, 2013, for individuals, families and small employers to compare and buy health insurance and are the only place to apply for financial assistance in the form of tax credits to help lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access free, in-person assistance from a statewide network of certified Brokers, community based Health Coverage Guides or Application Counselors. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

CONTACTLuke Clarke
[email protected], 720-496-2545

DENVER — The Connect for Health Colorado® Board of Directors on Monday named Kevin Patterson — a longtime veteran of  public service roles at the state and local level  in Colorado — as interim Chief Executive Officer for Colorado’s Health Insurance Marketplace. He will start his new position May 8.

Patterson succeeds Interim CEO Gary Drews, who has led the Marketplace since August 2014 and who did not seek the permanent CEO position. In March, Drews informed the Board he would be leaving in mid-May, but offered to stay on in a transition role as needed.

Patterson served on the Connect for Health Colorado Board as an ex-officio member from May 2013 to December 2014.

“We know Kevin well and he knows Connect for Health Colorado well from his service on the board,” said Board Chair Sharon O’Hara. “Kevin brings a broad public policy background to this role and is well positioned to step in and build on the progress Gary has made while the board continues to seek a permanent CEO.”

Patterson currently serves as chief administrative officer to Gov. John Hickenlooper and has an extensive history of public service. He has served as the interim executive director of three state agencies during leadership transitions, the Governor’s Office of Information Technology, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Governor’s Energy Office. He brings a strong understanding of state government and stakeholder engagement to this role.

He will be resigning his position with the Governor’s Office to become the Marketplace CEO.

“I am excited by the opportunity to help more Coloradans get health insurance, to obtain the healthcare they need and to enjoy the financial security that comes with coverage,” Patterson said. “I am looking forward to working with Connect for Health Colorado’s talented and dedicated staff on their mission to increase access, affordability and choice for residents of Colorado.”

Patterson has held leadership roles for the city and county of Denver in the Budget Office, the Planning Department, the Department of Human Services, the Department of General Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

As the governor’s chief administrative officer, Patterson has served as a member of the State Board of Equalization, the Capitol Building Advisory Committee, the State Internet Portal Authority, and he supervises the 10 gubernatorial appointed public trustees. He was elected to the Denver Board of Education in 2001 and 2005.

The board chose to seek a second interim to lead the Marketplace as it revisits its CEO search process with the Legislative Health Benefit Exchange Implementation Review Committee.

Under Drews’ leadership, Connect for Health Colorado enrolled more than 140,000 Coloradans in health insurance for 2015, keeping it among the leaders in State-Based Marketplaces. During his tenure, Drews instituted a long-range planning process that combines the vision of Connect for Health Colorado’s board with that of carriers, Brokers, Health Coverage Guides and other stakeholders to expand access, choice and affordability for individuals, families and small businesses who need private insurance.

“Our board of directors is deeply grateful to Gary Drews for stepping into a challenging role, going above and beyond a demanding set of requirements and providing us a roadmap to deliver excellent service to our customers as we grow access to private health insurance,” O’Hara said. “He has taken us a long way forward on delivering choice, access, and affordable coverage to Coloradans. We wish him the best fortune and continued success.”

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. In 2014, the Marketplace enrolled more than 150,000 Coloradans in private insurance and helped nearly 100,000 gain access to new tax credits that made their health coverage more affordable – all while keeping fees among the lowest in the country. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

CONTACTLuke Clarke
[email protected], 720-496-2545

DENVER — The Connect for Health Colorado® Board of Directors announced today it is resuming conversations with a short list of active candidates for Chief Executive Officer of the organization after the finalist for the post withdrew from consideration because of a change of heart over relocating to Colorado.

Robert (Bob) C. Malone, who had been named as the finalist for the position, this week asked to withdraw after reconsidering relocating his family to Colorado.  Mr. Malone recently moved to the New York City area, where he is originally from, after his former company, based in Lakewood, CO was sold in January.

“The board understands Bob’s decision and we wish him the continued success that brought him to our attention,” said Connect for Health Colorado Board Chair Sharon O’Hara. “We continue to see interest in the opportunity to lead Connect for Health Colorado among accomplished industry leaders. Board members and I are confident that we will be able to identify a strong executive to lead one of the country’s most successful state-based marketplaces.”

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. A health insurance Marketplace built just for Colorado, it launched 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, community based certified Health Coverage Guides or Certified Application Counselors.  For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

Contact: Luke Clarke
[email protected], 720-496-2545

DENVER – Adela Flores-Brennan, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, has been named to the Connect for Health Colorado® board of directors by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Flores-Brennan brings more than 15 years of work in law and public policy in Colorado, the past seven in health care policy, to her position on the board of directors overseeing the state health insurance Marketplace.  A former staff member at Connect for Health Colorado, she served as director of our community-based assistance programs before taking her current position leading CCHI, a statewide, non-profit advocacy group working on behalf of healthcare consumers.

“We’re pleased to welcome Adela to our Board,” said Board Chair Sharon O’Hara. “Her experience working on behalf of healthcare consumers will be of great benefit to our customers and her understanding of Connect for Health Colorado will serve this organization well as we chart a course to grow the Marketplace and increase coverage in our state for individuals, families and small businesses.”

As CCHI’s executive director, Flores-Brennan is responsible for advancing public policy, guiding strategic and operational planning, and providing leadership and management support. She graduated from the University of Denver with a BA and MA in International Studies and from the University of Colorado with a Juris Doctorate.

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. In 2015, the Marketplace has enrolled more than 140,000 Coloradans in private insurance and helped nearly 80,000 of them gain access to new tax credits that made their health coverage more affordable – all while keeping fees among the lowest in the country. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

CONTACT:
Luke Clarke, [email protected], 720-496-2545

DENVER — In its just completed second open enrollment, Connect for Health Colorado® enrolled 141,639 customers, a level that is 10 percent more than in last year’s longer open enrollment period. The 2015 enrollment figure puts Connect for Health among the top five state-based marketplaces, according to data released today by the federal department of Health and Human Services.

All but one of Colorado’s 64 counties showed increases in 2015 enrollments in private health insurance through the state Marketplace over year-end 2014. More than a dozen, including El Paso, Larimer and Pueblo counties, saw increases of 40% or more in the second open enrollment period.

“We are grateful to our many partners — especially to our health coverage guides, brokers and carriers — who worked with us during this three-month drive to help more Coloradans obtain affordable health and dental coverage,” said Connect for Health Colorado Interim CEO Gary Drews. “Our work to improve service to our customers during the next open enrollment period has already begun with those partners, the state Division of Insurance (DOI), the state Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing (HCPF) and other stakeholders.”

A comprehensive report on the Colorado Marketplace’s second open enrollment period for individuals and families, including county-level reports on enrollment and financial assistance made available to customers is available here. A more targeted outreach report is here.
A look by the numbers:
• 54%: Marketplace customers receiving financial assistance (Advance Premium Tax Credits) to help with their premiums.
• $229: The average level of monthly premium assistance.
• 10%: Marketplace customers from rural counties, which make up 8% of the state’s population.
• 26%: Customers 18-34 years old.
• 24: Number of languages other than English spoken by customers contacting the Service Center.
• 246,837: Number of phone calls answered by the Customer Service Center.

While Open Enrollment has closed, some Coloradans can still purchase coverage for 2015 if they experience any one of a number of certain life change events – such as losing coverage provided through a job, moving to Colorado, getting married or the addition of a child to the family. A full list of these “special enrollment” circumstances for new customers can be found here and existing customers here. Open Enrollment for 2016 coverage will run from Nov. 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016.

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. In 2014, the Marketplace enrolled more than 150,000 Coloradans in private insurance and helped nearly 100,000 gain access to new tax credits that made their health coverage more affordable – all while keeping fees among the lowest in the country. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com

*Comparisons are limited to other state-based marketplaces because the conditions in the individual insurance market in the 36 Federally Facilitated Marketplaces are not comparable to the Colorado market