This headline is no surprise to the thousands of you who have been working so hard over the past year to get Coloradans covered and looking for this next period. We’ve said many times that changing the lives of Coloradans will be a marathon, not a sprint. But, you have already played a pivotal role in significantly reducing the numbers of uninsured in our state – fifth biggest drop in the nation!
Look with immense pride at the positive impacts you’ve had on more than 300,000 people who in 2014 obtained private health insurance through the Marketplace or enrolled in the newly expanded Medicaid.
Far more than numbers, they include Joaquin, who went to a doctor for the first time in years and discovered he had Type II diabetes and that he needed to make changes for his health. Or Marty, who is a graduate student and rafting guide who knows he needs regular checkups to guard against skin cancer. And Shirley, who retired from teaching and needed something affordable to stay covered. Or Lee, who uses his own experience of being hospitalized after a serious accident to encourage others in his mountain community to get enrolled.
The stories are told in every county of our state – people who are benefiting from the increased access, choice and affordability that Connect for Health Colorado offers to those seeking health insurance.
As we enter this historic second enrollment period, I want to thank you for what you’ve done and what you are about to do as we strive to move our state toward better health. And I want to assure you that Connect for Health Colorado has been working diligently to get the Marketplace ready – and better – for Coloradans.
We have worked closely with our partners at Health Care Policy and Financing to provide a single eligibility system so all customers applying for financial assistance will have just one application to complete to see if they are eligible for state coverage or a tax credit to reduce the cost of private insurance.
This Open Enrollment we will be introducing several new tools on our website to help consumers better understand their options and assist them through their decisions. Our network of certified Health Coverage Guides and Agent/Brokers has already begun helping customers compare their choices for 2015 plans. And, our Customer Service Center is ready to serve Coloradans who want help through the enrollment process.
By the numbers, the Marketplace this year has:
- 15 insurers offering 176 individual health plans; 120 small group plans; 16 individual dental plans; and 10 small group dental plans
- More than 200 Customer Service Representatives
- 54 Certified Assistance Sites
- 450 Certified Health Coverage Guides
- 155 Certified Application Counselors
- 1,600 Certified Agents/Brokers
I thank you in advance for your dedication and commitment to the people of Colorado.