Connect for Health Colorado® and Center for Improving Value in Health Care Introduce Online Resource to Help Consumers Estimate Costs for Health Insurance
DENVER — Shoppers on Colorado’s health insurance Marketplace will have a new tool that will help them find the most cost-effective coverage when they begin shopping next week for coverage in 2017.
Connect for Health Colorado® and the Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) partnered to develop the Quick Cost and Plan Finder tool that will enable consumers to see:
- Whether they may qualify for financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums and other costs, such as copays and deductibles.
- An estimate of annual out-of-pocket costs, based on their expected health care usage.
- Plans that include their preferred doctors, facilities and/or medications.
“We want to help our customers get as complete a picture of their costs as possible when they shop for coverage on our Marketplace,” said Kevin Patterson, CEO of Connect for Health Colorado. “When customers better understand the health insurance they are choosing, they are better equipped to get the full value of their health plan.”
The tool equips consumers with an estimate of overall costs — including such things as co-pays, co-insurance and other “out-of-pocket” expenses — relying on data within the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD), which is administered by CIVHC. The CO APCD is Colorado’s most comprehensive source of health care claims information. It includes data from 510 million health insurance claims from 21 health insurance companies.
“Shopping for health plans can be confusing, and this tool helps Coloradans understand how different plans may impact their out-of-pocket costs throughout the year,” states Ana English, President and CEO for CIVHC. “By combining CO APCD data with health plan data, we are providing a missing piece of the puzzle for customers making important health care decisions.”
The tool does not recommend which plan a shopper should choose but gives consumers a better comparison of the health insurance options when shopping for coverage. Consumers may request help from a certified Broker for help evaluating benefits and selecting a health insurance plan that best meets his or her individual or family needs, at no additional cost.
Development of the tool was funded by a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation.
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
CIVHC (civhc.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps Colorado identify ways to pay for, deliver and select high value health care. Through the pioneering Colorado All Payer Claims Database, we offer the state’s most comprehensive health care cost, quality and utilization claims data. We unlock information and provide tools and insights that guide meaningful action to improve health, enhance quality and lower cost. Bringing together a broad spectrum of organizations and individuals to design and drive collective change, CIVHC is devoted to a single cause: advancing an exceptional health care system for Colorado.