Connect for Health Colorado® and Colorado Medicaid Report Enrollment Gains

CONTACTS:
Curtis Hubbard, curtis@onsightpublicaffairs.com, 303-908-2378 (Connect for Health Colorado)
Marc Williams, Marc.Williams@state.co.us  (Colorado Medicaid)

DENVER, CO – Between Nov. 15 and Jan. 31, more than 186,497 Coloradans enrolled in healthcare coverage for 2015, either in private health insurance purchased through the health insurance Marketplace, or with Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado® and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

During the first two and one half months of open enrollment, 125,378 people enrolled in private coverage through Connect for Health Colorado; another 58,235 in Medicaid and 2,884 in CHP+. Connect for Health Colorado also enrolled 21,466 individuals in dental plans.

Among state-based marketplaces, Colorado is third in total enrollments — behind California and New York, but ahead of Kentucky, Connecticut, Washington and others —  according to a U.S. Health and Human Services report on enrollment totals through mid-January.

“It is urgent for anyone who hasn’t secured their 2015 coverage to act immediately and take the important step in protecting their health and financial security by getting covered,” said Gary Drews, Connect for Health Colorado Interim CEO. “We can help qualifying individuals and families save on the cost of their coverage but only if they act now. We are down to the final weeks – Open Enrollment ends on February 15.”

Anyone who does not have health insurance provided through their employer should apply before Feb. 15, 2015, to sign up for private health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado.  Only those experiencing certain life change events – such as losing a job, moving to Colorado, adopting a child or having a child – will be able to enroll in private coverage for 2015 after that date.

Coloradans eligible for no- or low-cost coverage through Medicaid and CHP+ have no deadlines and can apply year-round.

“Finding the coverage you qualify for is an important first step towards better health,” said Susan Birch, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “A healthier Colorado leads to a healthier economy.  We know Coloradans who are covered are more likely to receive preventive care and access primary care instead of seek care in more expensive settings like the emergency room.”

Medicaid and CHP+ count as having health coverage for tax year 2014. Coloradans who were covered by Medicaid or CHP+ the whole year just need to simply check a box on their federal income tax return and will not need any other forms to prove they had coverage for 2014. If Medicaid members were not covered for all of 2014 by Medicaid or CHP+, they may need to apply for an exemption with the IRS when filing their taxes.

Connect for Health Colorado customers are receiving the forms they need for their taxes, Form 1095-A, in the mail this week. (Only individuals and families who purchased coverage will receive the form; those who have coverage provided through their employer do not need the form and can complete their tax returns without it.)

Last year, Coloradans who purchased coverage through the Marketplace received more than $191 million in tax credits to help them lower the cost of their health insurance. The Form 1095-A enables those who received financial assistance to complete their tax forms.

Nov. 15 – Jan. 31

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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 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 148,000 Coloradans in commercial 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