Western Slope Insurance Executive Named to Connect for Health Colorado® Board of Directors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2019

Contact: Monica Caballeros
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 720-496-2574

DENVER – Patrick Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Junction-based Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP) has been named to the board of directors of Connect for Health Colorado.


“We look forward to the continued partnership with Rocky Mountain Health Plans and to working with Patrick. He brings a deep understanding of the needs of western Colorado communities where we see some of the state’s most challenging markets” said Board Chair Adela Flores-Brennan. “Patrick’s experience in private and public healthcare systems will serve well our mission to increase access, affordability and choice for all Coloradans.”


Mr. Gordon worked with the state department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) before joining RMHP in 2003. He succeeded Steve ErkenBrack as CEO in June. While with HCPF, Mr. Gordon played a leading role in creating the state’s Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) program. CHP+ is a low-cost health insurance program for children and pregnant women in households earning too much to qualify for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) but not enough to afford private insurance. Much of his focus at RMHP has been on serving the Health First Colorado members.


The Connect for Health Colorado Board has nine voting members and three ex-officio members. They are appointed by Republican and Democratic leaders in the state Legislature and by the governor. Mr. Gordon was named to a four-year term on the board by the Speaker of the House. He takes over the seat previously held by former board member Jay Norris.


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. Since 2013, we’ve been helping individuals, families and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. For more information: ConnectforHealthCO.com

Consumers Should Shop for a New Health Insurance Plan to Take Advantage of Savings in 2020

Contact: Monica Caballeros
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 720-496-2574

DENVER – Connect for Health Colorado® customers should shop for a new health insurance plan to lower their premiums in 2020. With the addition of new competitors in the health insurance market and the introduction of a reinsurance program (which helps insurers with their most costly claims), the average individual health insurance premium next year will be 20.2 percent lower, according to the Colorado Division of Insurance. That savings is before the financial help available in the form of advance premium tax credits, of which 77 percent of current customers qualify.

The benchmark plan used to determine how much financial help Coloradans can qualify for through the Marketplace also decreased. As a result, customers who qualify for financial help should shop for a new plan in order to take advantage of savings. Those who expect to use medical care should consider factors beyond the premium. For some Coloradans, their costs for a Gold plan will be comparable to Silver plan premiums after the financial help is applied. Others may find a Bronze plan with very low or even $0 premium. While the average financial help amount for enrollees who qualify will decrease $150 in 2020, the average payment will only increase $22, according to a report by Wakely Consulting Group.

“Plan prices and benefits change every year. We hear from customers that their medical needs, budgets and household situations also change,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to compare plans and think about the total costs of care before making a selection.”

Consumers can use the Quick Cost and Plan Finder tool or the Marketplace’s statewide network of hundreds of certified brokers to help them decide which plan is right for them.

In 2020, eight health insurance companies will be offering plans through the Marketplace, including a new carrier, Oscar Health. Peak Health Alliance will also offer plans through the Marketplace to residents of Summit County via Bright Health.

Open Enrollment runs from November 1, 2019, to January 15, 2020. Consumers must enroll by December 15 to have coverage in place by January 1, 2020.

###

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.  Since 2013, we’ve been helping individuals, families and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. For more information:  ConnectforHealthCO.com

Statement from Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson on the Proposal for Affordable Health Coverage Option Draft Report

October 7, 2019

Denver– Connect for Health Colorado® Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson released the following statement on the Proposal for Affordable Health Coverage Option (HB 19-1004) Draft Report:

“I am excited that the State is proposing to offer these new options through Connect for Health Colorado and that we can leverage the Marketplace’s existing infrastructure to help lower costs for the program. Our expertise in the individual market, the statewide network of community and business partners we’ve developed, and our ongoing technology modernization efforts will also be key to its success. I’m confident that Connect for Health Colorado can best meet the needs of – and streamline the process for – residents who purchase their own health insurance. I’m eager to collaborate with our network of partners as the plan is refined to further increase access, affordability and choice for all Coloradans.”

Earlier this year, Connect for Health Colorado was named as a stakeholder in legislation for the development and implementation of the state option for health care coverage.

###

About Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is a public, nonprofit entity established by the Colorado General Assembly in 2011 to create a health insurance marketplace.  Since 2013, we’ve been helping individuals, families, and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help, and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. For more information:  ConnectforHealthCO.com

State-Based Marketplace Customer Service Leader Brings Expertise to Connect for Health Colorado®

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2019

For Media Inquiries
Faneuil: Lisa Fitzpatrick, [email protected], (757) 265-2517
Connect for Health Colorado: Monica Caballeros, [email protected], (720) 496-2574

Denver – Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, has selected Faneuil Inc. as its new customer service provider starting in 2020. Faneuil’s customer service teams will assist residents in applying for health and dental plans, as well as the financial help available only through the Marketplace. Connect for Health Colorado’s current customer service provider will continue to deliver customer service center support through the upcoming Open Enrollment period.

Faneuil, headquartered in Hampton, Va., operates outsourced business processing programs for government and commercial clients nationwide.  The company provides broad, multichannel customer care, back-office support, and innovative solutions to support clients operating in complex, highly regulated industries, including health and human services, transportation, utilities, state and municipal governments, and commercial/retail services.

“Faneuil are specialists in supporting state-based marketplaces and their customers. We are eager to build on our ability to be a trusted resource for Coloradans shopping for health insurance through this partnership. Collaboration with Faneuil, in addition to our technology modernization efforts, will enhance the overall customer experience and move our organization forward,” said Connect for Health Colorado Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson.

“We warmly welcome the opportunity to work with Connect for Health Colorado and are confident in our ability to provide a partnership that attains the high levels of service expected by Connect for Health Colorado,” said Faneuil’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Anna Van Buren. “Our extensive experience working with state benefit exchanges and conducting seamless transitions from incumbents has been a significant component of our work as a company, and we’re honored that Connect for Health Colorado has entrusted us with creating consistently positive member experiences.”

Faneuil and Connect for Health Colorado are in the process of negotiating the contract, with an initial term of three years. Faneuil will begin to process customer interactions in February 2020.  The current customer service vendor for the Marketplace will provide customer service center support through the upcoming Open Enrollment period, which begins November 1, 2019.

To learn more about Faneuil, Inc., visit Faneuil.com. To learn more about Connect for Health Colorado, visit ConnectforHealthCO.com.

About Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is a public, nonprofit entity established by the Colorado General Assembly in 2011 to create a health insurance marketplace.  Since 2013, we’ve been helping individuals, families, and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help, and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. For more information:  ConnectforHealthCO.com

About Faneuil, Inc.

For more than 25 years, Faneuil (www.faneuil.com) has specialized in designing, implementing managing and operating multichannel customer care, back-office business processing, and Solution as a Service (SaaS) offerings for government and commercial clients operating in complex, highly regulated environments nationwide. Headquartered in Hampton, Va., Faneuil delivers broad support to several diverse industries, including health and human services, transportation and tolling, utilities, state and municipal governments, and commercial/retail services. With an unrelenting focus on creating consistently positive customer experiences, Faneuil’s customer care professionals are intent on building the brands and reputations of its client partners every day.

# # #

Connect for Health Colorado® Welcomes Chief Policy and Relationships Officer

Contact: Monica Caballeros, [email protected]

DENVER – Connect for Health Colorado®’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson announced today that Monica VanBuskirk has joined the leadership team as the Chief Policy and Relationships Officer. The position was created to shape the organization’s increased involvement in the health policy arena and to advance the organization’s marketing strategy, external relationship network and policy objectives.

“We are fortunate to have Monica join our executive leadership team,” said Patterson. “Her experience working on healthcare policy at the state and federal level and bringing business and nonprofit operations together will be essential to our organization as we continue to grow and cultivate long-term partnerships.”

Before joining Connect for Health Colorado, Ms. VanBuskirk worked at Meapta Inc. to advocate for healthcare finance bills in Colorado’s 2019 legislative session and at Aspen Labs as a human-centered designer. Since moving to Denver in 2013, she has developed and managed business strategy at the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing, Denver Health, Kaiser Permanente and Colorado Permanente Medical Group. Prior to Colorado, she supported the Affordable Care Act rollout at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center and studied comparative effectiveness research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Ms. VanBuskirk earned her bachelor’s degree from Smith College and holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Duke University. At Duke, she focused on health sector management and the economic drivers of healthcare and was awarded the Asa T. Spaulding Sr. Award for Leadership.

Along with Connect for Health Colorado’s CEO, Kevin Patterson, the executive leadership team also includes Chief Financial Officer Brian Braun and Chief Innovation Officer Kelly Guthner.

About Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is a public, nonprofit entity established by the Colorado General Assembly in 2011 to create a health insurance marketplace.  Since 2013, we’ve been helping individuals, families, and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help, and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters.

For more information:  ConnectforHealthCO.com

Two New Members Join Connect for Health Colorado® Board of Directors

Contact: Monica Caballeros, [email protected]

DENVER – Connect for Health Colorado® Board Chair Adela Flores-Brennan has announced two new members have been named to the board of directors for the state’s health insurance marketplace. “We welcome the depth of healthcare experience these appointments add to our board of directors and the problem-solving skills they bring to our leadership team,” Ms. Flores-Brennan said. “Their backgrounds will provide fresh insight into how we further our mission to improve access, affordability, and choice for Coloradans purchasing health insurance.” New members to the board include:

  • Mike Stahl, the Chief Executive for Hilltop Community Resources of Grand Junction. Hilltop is a nonprofit human services agency serving Western Colorado for more than 65 years. Mr. Stahl is active in the community, serving on the boards of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, Quality Health Network, and MarillacHealth.
  • Dick Thompson, the Executive Director of Quality Health Network, a nonprofit community collaborative based in Grand Junction. It is one of the oldest health information exchanges in the country. It offers an array of data services used by organizations working in healthcare reform, improving care quality, and reducing costs of care. He is a charter board member of Colorado’s Center for Improving Value in Health Care.

The appointees are both named to four-year terms. Board members Steve ErkenBrack, president and chief executive officer of Rocky Mountain Health Plans; Jay Norris, an independent health insurance broker and co-founder of Colorado Health Insurance Insider; and Nathan Wilkes, founder and principal consultant of Headstorms, Inc., an IT consulting firm; are leaving the board. Mr. ErkenBrack and Mr. Wilkes were the final remaining members of Connect for Health Colorado’s original board, first appointed in 2011. “We are extremely grateful to the departing board members and their dedicated service to improving the health of Coloradans,” Ms. Flores-Brennan said. The Connect for Health Colorado Board has nine voting members and three ex-officio members. They are appointed by Republican and Democratic leaders in the state Legislature and by the governor. Connect for Health Colorado is awaiting one final appointment to the board of directors.

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.  Since 2013, we’ve been helping individuals, families, and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help, and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters.

For more information:  ConnectforHealthCO.com

Health Insurance Shopping Tool Optimized for Mobile Browsing

Contact: Monica Caballeros, [email protected]

DENVER – Coloradans shopping for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado® can now preview health plans and estimate costs on their mobile devices and tablets using the award-winning Quick Cost and Plan Finder tool.

Connect for Health Colorado® has optimized the tool for mobile browsing of health insurance plans as part of its technology modernization effort, which includes a suite of tools such as live chat and scheduling a call. Development is also underway to optimize the complete application for mobile devices. Making the technology consistently mobile provides a smoother user experience and supports customers who do not have immediate access to traditional desktops and laptops.

“We continually improve our technology so we can meet Coloradans where they are and make shopping easier,” said Kevin Patterson, Chief Executive Officer of Connect for Health Colorado. “Creating streamlined tools and resources for mobile devices and tablets means more people can easily shop through our Marketplace, get an estimate of financial help they may qualify for, and compare offerings from a variety of health insurance companies.”

The Quick Cost and Plan Finder tool helps shoppers estimate the financial help they could receive through the Marketplace and calculate an estimate of total yearly costs. Coloradans can also use the anonymous tool to find plans which include preferred doctors, medications and compare from multiple health insurance companies and types of medical plans.

Seven health insurance companies offer plans through Connect for Health Colorado. Most residents who buy their own health insurance have several to choose from. The number varies by location and the tool helps shoppers see all that are available in their area.

The tool does not recommend which plan a buyer should choose, but rather gives people a comparison of the health insurance options. The complete application for financial help and health insurance must currently be completed on a laptop or desktop computer.

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. Since 2013, we have been helping individuals, families and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. For more information: ConnectforHealthCO.com

Request for Proposal: Information Technology and Security Services

Connect for Health Colorado is soliciting responses from qualified entities that are able to provide information technology and security services. Interested parties can find the Request for Proposal through BidNet Direct, a part of the Rocky Mountain Purchasing System.

The Request for Proposal provides additional details and instructions on how to respond.

As a vendor, you must register with the Rocky Mountain Purchasing System to see all available bids and opportunities. If you need help registering, please call Rocky Mountain Purchasing System support at 800-835-4603; option #2.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Consumer Health Advocate Named to Connect for Health Colorado® Board of Directors

DENVER – Gov. Jared Polis has named a longtime leader in consumer health advocacy to the board of directors of Connect for Health Colorado®.

Elisabeth Arenales, who helped found the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and was the Health Program Director at the Colorado Center on Law and Policy for almost twenty years, joins the 12-member board as an ex-officio member representing the governor’s office. She serves on the governor’s staff as Senior Policy Advisor for Health.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Elisabeth’s deep experience with the healthcare challenges facing our state join our leadership team,” said Board Chair Adela Flores-Brennan. “Her fierce dedication to improving health outcomes and lowering costs is a perfect fit with our mission to increase access, affordability and choice for all Coloradans.”

Ms. Arenales has been recognized by numerous organizations for her work addressing social determinants of health, including as a community health leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and health policy leader by the Colorado Health Foundation.

The Connect for Health Colorado Board has nine voting members and three ex-officio members.

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. Since 2013, we’ve been helping individuals, families and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. For more information: ConnectforHealthCO.com

Connect for Health Colorado® Among the Most Competitive State Marketplaces, New Analysis Shows

DENVER – Connect for Health Colorado® is among the most competitive state Marketplaces in the country, based on comparisons to data in two recently released national reports.

Eleven percent of Coloradans live in counties where fewer than three health insurance companies are offering plans through Connect for Health Colorado. An analysis by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that nationally, 38 percent of Americans live in areas with one or two health insurance companies offering Marketplace plans this year.

In Colorado, 3 percent of the state’s population lives in counties with only one company offering plans through Connect for Health Colorado, while the national report found 12 percent of the U.S. population live in areas with only one health insurance company offering Marketplace plans.

Seven health insurance companies offer plans through Connect for Health Colorado, but only one offers coverage in all 64 counties in the state.

In a March 21 report, the Government Accountability Office measured competitiveness by comparing the market share held by the largest health insurance company in the individual market in 2016. It found that Colorado was among a handful of states where the largest health insurance company had less than 50 percent market share that year. Both reports note that the cost of health insurance tends to be lower in areas with more competition.

“We are pleased that we compare favorably to other states in the level of choice that we are able to offer to many Coloradans,” said Kevin Patterson, Chief Executive Officer of Connect for Health Colorado. “Increasing choice and holding down our customers’ costs are key parts of our mission.  But these analyses also bring new emphasis to the need to bring more competition to more areas of the state.”

Health Insurance Company Choices by County

Number of health insurance companies offering plans through Connect for Health Colorado Counties Percentage of state population
One 14 3%
Two 28 8%
Three 14 21%
Four 1 12%
Five or more 7 56%
Source: Connect for Health Colorado

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.  Since 2013, we’ve been helping individuals, families and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. For more information:  ConnectforHealthCO.com