Connect for Health Colorado is the only place where Coloradans can access federal financial assistance, based on income and other factors, to reduce costs. If eligible, you can use the new kind of tax credit up-front to reduce your monthly premium. You can also buy health insurance without applying for financial assistance and then claim the tax credit when you file taxes in 2015. This cost-savings program is for individuals, couples and families who:
- Don’t have health insurance, including TRICARE and Medicare
- Are not eligible for public health coverage such as Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)
- Do not have access to affordable coverage through an employer (paying more than 9.5% of income for health insurance)
Use our Savings Quick Check to get an estimate of your potential savings.
Two types of financial help
You may be eligible for a new kind of tax credit (advance premium tax credit) to reduce the monthly cost of health insurance if:
- You are an individual earning approximately $15,000 to $45,500/ year.
- You are a family of two earning approximately $21,500 to $62,000/ year.
- You are a family of three earning approximately $26,000 to $78,000/ year.
- You are a family of four earning approximately $31,000 to $94,000/ year.
You may be eligible for cost-sharing reductions – health plans with lower deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance – if:
- You are an individual earning approximately $15,000 to $28,000/ year.
- You are a family of two earning approximately $21,000 to $38,000/ year.
- You are a family of three earning approximately $26,000 to $48,000/ year.
- You are a family of four earning approximately $34,000 to $58,000/ year.
Tax Credit Calculation
The tax credit is calculated based on your income, age, the cost of health insurance in your community and the amount you are expected to pay for the monthly premium based on your household income. In Colorado, there are 11 rating areas, so health insurance costs vary according to where you live. It is possible, depending on the cost of health insurance in your community compared to the portion of income you are expected to pay, to not be eligible for a tax credit even if you are in the income range shown above. It is also possible for people who are the same age and earn the same income to be eligible for different tax credit amounts because they live in different rating areas.
1. Submit application for Medicaid (free or low-cost public health insurance). We cannot give customers a tax credit if they are eligible for Medicaid or CHP+. Here are FAQs from the State about filling out the online Medicaid application. If you have submitted the Medicaid application and want to check on the status of your application, please call 1-800-359-1991, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.
2. Find out from the State of Colorado about Medicaid eligibility. If you’re eligible, you’ll be automatically enrolled.
3. If you were not eligible for Medicaid during open enrollment or have lost Medicaid coverage due to a qualifying life change event, use your denial code (7 digit number starting with 1B) and apply for a tax credit through the Marketplace. To determine your household income, the Marketplace uses an income calculation method called “Modified Adjusted Gross Income” or MAGI. We have a tool that will help you estimate your eligibility for financial assistance.
4. Shop for a health plan. If you have a tax credit or a tax credit and cost-sharing reductions, you will see health plans that include these benefits in the prices. Once you pick your plans, you can finish the sign-up process.
5. Pay your premium. Once you’ve signed up for coverage, you will receive a bill from your selected carrier and you can pay the carrier to finalize coverage.
When you apply for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado, we’ll ask you for information about you and your household, including income, any insurance you currently have, and some additional items.
The checklist below can help you gather what you need to apply for coverage.
- Name, address, contact information
- Social Security numbers of each member of your household to be covered by your plan (or document numbers for lawfully present individuals) if you are applying for financial assistance
- Birth dates
- Employer information for each member of your household
- Income information* for each member of your household (for example, wage and tax statements such as pay stubs or W2 forms)
- Information about any other income you receive
- Information and policy numbers for health insurance plans currently covering members of your household
- A completed Employer Coverage Tool for each job that offers coverage to you or someone in your household, even if you/they are not enrolled in it.
- Names of preferred health care providers.
- Asset and expense information for the household if anyone in the home is disabled (only necessary for State programs)
Connect for Health Colorado also provides small employers access to federal tax credits. If you have fewer than 25 employees, pay average annual wages below $50,000 and provide health insurance, you may qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 50 percent (35 percent for nonprofits) to offset the cost of premiums for your employees. Use our Small Employer Tax Credit Calculator to see your potential savings.