DENVER – Connect for Health Colorado® saw increases in enrollment in nearly every county in the state during the Open Enrollment Period that concluded Jan. 31, with some of the largest increases coming in rural and mountain counties.
Overall, the number of Coloradans enrolling in medical coverage through the state Marketplace increased 10 percent over the number a year earlier. However, the number rose by 81 percent in Rio Blanco County, in the northwest corner of the state, and Summit County saw a 44 percent jump in enrollments. Other resort counties saw sizable jumps. In Eagle County, enrollments rose 36 percent, while in Pitkin County they increased 34 percent.
Rural counties on the Western Slope – such as Montezuma County with 63 percent and La Plata County with 29 percent – saw strong growth, as did counties on the eastern plains – such as Baca County with 44 percent and Yuma County with 35 percent growth.
“We work with partners throughout the state to ensure that all Coloradans have access to in-person help,” said Kevin Patterson, Connect for Health Colorado CEO. “These increases are really a testament to the success of our partners who are doing the on-the-ground work at events and the statewide enrollment centers across Colorado.”
A network of 1,137 of certified brokers, 128 Health Coverage Guides and 296 Certified Application Counselors worked to assist Coloradans enrolling in healthcare coverage through the state Marketplace. The Connect for Health Colorado Marketplace is the only place where qualifying families and individuals can receive financial help in the form of tax credits, which reduce their premium when they buy health insurance.
During the three-month open enrollment period (Nov. 1, 2015-Jan. 31, 2016), Connect for Health Colorado conducted an extensive outreach campaign across the state to increase awareness about the deadlines, importance of having coverage and the cost of going without coverage.
Although open enrollment for this year ended Jan. 31, individuals and families whose health insurance company is no longer offering health plans in their area – or because they had a policy last year that no longer meets the minimum legal requirements – will be permitted to enroll in new coverage through Feb. 29 through a Special Enrollment Period. Individuals and families need not to have purchased their 2015 health coverage through Connect for Health Colorado to qualify.
In addition, some Coloradans can still purchase coverage for 2016 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. More information about “special enrollment” circumstances can be found on our website.
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 160,000 Coloradans in private insurance – all while keeping fees among the lowest in the country. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com