Marc Williams (Colorado Medicaid)
Luke Clarke (Connect for Health Colorado)
Vincent Plymell (Colorado Division of Insurance)
DENVER, CO – Today, updated estimates of the uninsured population were released showing Colorado’s uninsured rate has dropped to 6.7 percent. Along with uninsured rates, the Colorado Health Access Survey includes information by insurance type and has questions about access to care.
Below are statements in response to the new survey from leaders at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Division of Insurance and Connect for Health Colorado.
Susan E. Birch MBA, BSN, RN Executive Director
Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
“Today marks another milestone in Colorado’s journey to become the healthiest state in the nation – we now have one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country, 6.7 percent. Getting everyone covered was our first priority. Now we turn our focus to improving the health of those we serve while getting the most value for every dollar we spend. At Colorado Medicaid we are making strategic investments that reduce cost but improve health outcomes of our clients. We’ve been successful in that access to care has remained stable throughout this enrollment of new clients.
Our average cost per client in Medicaid has declined by over 9% since Fiscal Year 2008-2009. While part this decline can be attributed to changes in case mix, it also reflects our dedication to purchasing value and reducing costs as has been demonstrated by savings achieved through the Accountable Care Collaborative. We’re seeing clear signs that health outcomes are improving, our clients are seeking out preventative medical and dental care.
“The historic numbers released today are due to the hard work of many partners across the state. We achieved this milestone together, from individuals using technology to enroll online, to the medical assistance sites, county and community partners, brokers and others who provided in person or phone assistance to Coloradans needing to enroll in coverage, we all had a part in reducing our uninsured rate.”
Kevin Patterson, Interim CEO
Connect for Health Colorado
“Colorado set out to find a Colorado solution to expanding health care coverage well before the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land. Now, less than two years after full implementation of the law, it’s exciting to see our state as a leader in expanding health coverage. Yet, even as we celebrate this success today, we at Connect for Health Colorado see tremendous opportunity to grow access, affordability and choice for Colorado families and small businesses.”
Marguerite Salazar, Colorado Insurance Commissioner
Colorado Division of Insurance
“At the Division of Insurance, we ensure that a healthy, competitive health insurance marketplace exists for Colorado consumers, providing them with a variety of choices. For 2015, there were over 1,000 plans from 20 carriers in the individual and small group markets, and we’ll have similar numbers when we announce the 2016 plans later in September.
“But while our role is about maintaining a competitive market, this news is also about parents being able to keep their kids on their employer plans, it’s about small employers wanting to offer coverage to their employees, it’s about people who were shut out of the system getting health insurance. And getting more people covered means more people have access to preventive care, which is the first step in attacking rising health care costs.
“While our work is not done, CHI’s numbers show that we have made huge strides in getting more people covered.”
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 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
About the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI): The Division, part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholder with insurance issues. Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 1-800-930-3745.