Uninsured Coloradans Can Enroll during a Special Enrollment Period in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

DENVER — To help as many people as possible protect their health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak, Connect for Health Colorado® announces a new Special Enrollment period that starts Friday, March 20, 2020 and ends Friday, April 3, 2020Coloradans who are uninsured qualify to enroll in a health insurance plan for coverage that starts April 1, 2020.

To sign up for coverage through the Marketplace- the only place where residents can qualify for financial help to lower costs- Coloradans can complete an application and select a health insurance plan:

  • Online at ConnectforHealthCO.com.
  • Over the phone at 855-752-6749, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. We’re also extending Customer Service Center hours this weekend and next, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • Working with a certified enrollment expert. Many local experts continue to provide virtual and/or phone appointments.

Applicants should select the enrollment reason as, “Will lose or lost health insurance and/or have no other health coverage during the COVID-19 outbreak” and input the application date as the qualifying life change event date. Residents who take these steps will not be asked by health insurance companies to provide documentation to verify their eligibility for the Special Enrollment period.

As always, Coloradans can sign up for a plan if they experience other qualifying life change events, including loss of job-based and Health First Colorado (Medicaid) coverage. Coloradans may be eligible to enroll in a new plan if they experience changes or losses in income, which should be reported to Connect for Health Colorado. Residents who qualify for Health First Colorado (Medicaid) or the Child Health Plan Plus program can enroll online through the PEAK application any time during the year.

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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® Supports the Colorado Affordable Health Care Option Plan

Denver– On Monday, Connect for Health Colorado’s Board of Directors voted in support of House Bill 20-1349, which details the Colorado Affordable Health Care Option plan. The bill creates an advisory board, of which Connect for Health Colorado’s Chief Executive Officer is named as a member, to guide development and implementation of the plan.  

“Colorado continues to lead the nation in developing innovative solutions for our health care challenges,” said Connect for Health Colorado’s CEO Kevin Patterson. “I am confident this legislation is headed in the right direction and we stand ready to advise and implement. I look forward to a thoughtful discussion with policy makers and our state partners about how we use this proposal to lower health care costs for Coloradans.”

“Board members for Connect for Health Colorado continually explore options to increase competition and lower health care costs for residents,” said Board Chair Adela Flores-Brennen. “We will continue to prioritize issues of access and affordability, especially for Coloradans who receive financial assistance to lower costs, as we monitor the bill’s progress this session.”

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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

Statement from Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson regarding the Colorado Affordable Health Care Option

March 5, 2020

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

Denver– Connect for Health Colorado® Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson released the following statement on the announcement of the Colorado Affordable Health Care Option:

“We are evaluating the bill in depth to ensure we are ready to implement the Colorado Affordable Health Care Option. We are especially focused on evaluating the bill’s impact to financially-assisted Coloradans and whether their needs are suitably addressed in this bill. I’m confident that our Marketplace and our partners position us well to implement the program should the bill pass. We are eager to increase access, affordability, and plan choice to Coloradans and are prepared to support our state partners as they strive to maximize coverage and affordability.”

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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

Statement from Connect for Health Colorado® Regarding Supreme Court Decision on the Public Charge Rule

Jan. 27, 2020

Denver – Connect for Health Colorado® Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson released the following statement in response to today’s Supreme Court decision on the Public Charge Rule:“I am disappointed about the overall impact this ruling will have on all of us, but especially on our friends, neighbors and co-workers seeking a permanent residency status. This rule will force people to get health care in more expensive ways and will cause worse health outcomes for Coloradans; exactly the opposite of our mission and the work our state has led to increase access, affordability and choice in health. I’d like to remind our customers that the financial help they may receive through the Marketplace does not count negatively against them if going through the public charge review process.  Our Assisters, Brokers and Customer Service Center can answer questions about financial help. We also developed a resource that includes immigration lawyers who can answer questions more directly about the public charge process.”

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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 health insurance. 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

Nearly 167,000 Coloradans Signed Up for 2020 Health Insurance Coverage

DENVER — Nearly 167,000 Coloradans signed up for a health insurance plan through the state’s official Marketplace by the end of the Open Enrollment period, according to preliminary data released today by Connect for Health Colorado®.

Among the 2020 plan selections, about 20 percent are by customers who are new to Connect for Health Colorado and 80 percent are returning customers.

“This has been another successful Open Enrollment period,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “Now the work continues to increase access, affordability and choice for residents. We are fully engaged with partners at the state and in the legislature to advise and help implement innovative approaches to lower the cost of health care and increase choice.”

Outside of the Open Enrollment period, Coloradans can only sign up for a health insurance plan through the Marketplace if they experience a “Qualified Life Event,” like losing job-based insurance, losing Medicaid, or certain family changes. Coloradans can continue to get help signing up for coverage from certified brokers and community-based assisters during their Special Enrollment period.

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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

More than 153,000 Coloradans Enrolled in Health Insurance So Far; Less than Four Weeks Remain to Enroll for 2020 Coverage

DENVER — More than 153,000 Coloradans signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado’s Marketplace by Dec. 18, 2019. Approximately 68 percent of applicants qualify for financial help to lower monthly premium costs.

“I am encouraged by the pace of sign-ups so far,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson.  “However, it’s not too late to get covered for 2020. I urge you to take advantage of the final deadline and all the support we offer by visiting our site, giving us a call, or finding local help in your community.”

The Open Enrollment period in Colorado ends Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. Residents who sign up for a health insurance plan by the deadline will receive a Feb. 1, 2020 coverage start date.

Outside of the Open Enrollment period, Coloradans can only sign up for a health insurance plan through the Marketplace if they experience a “Qualified Life Event,” like losing job-based insurance, losing Medicaid, or certain family changes.

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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 Connect for Health Colorado® Regarding the Fifth Circuit Texas v. Azar Decision

December 18, 2019

Denver – Connect for Health Colorado® Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson released the following statement in response to the Fifth Circuit decision on the Texas v. Azar lawsuit:

“I want to reassure our customers that regardless of the ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the marketplace in Colorado is stable, strong and open for business. The steady pace of 2020 enrollments shows that Coloradans continue to rely on the health insurance coverage and the financial help our marketplace provides. The Affordable Care Act has withstood a variety of challenges since it became law nine years ago and remains unchanged while the case moves through the expected appeals, which will take some time. Colorado has also passed state laws that protect those with pre-existing conditions. You can rest assured that your financial help and plan protections and benefits remain in place.”

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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 health insurance. 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® Extends Enrollment Deadline for January Coverage to Dec. 18, 2019

DENVER — To help as many people as possible get Jan. 1, 2020 coverage, Connect for Health Colorado® is pleased to announce that the deadline to get coverage on Jan. 1 has been extended. Coloradans have until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday Dec. 18, 2019 to sign up for a health insurance plan that starts on Jan. 1, 2020.

To sign up for coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2020, Coloradans must take the following steps:

  1. Complete an application and select a health insurance plan online at ConnectforHealthCO.com, over the phone at 855-752-6749, or by working with a certified enrollment expert by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
  2. Call our Customer Service Center at 855-752-6749 and say, “I would like Jan. 1, 2020 coverage.” Individuals and families who sign up online after the Customer Service Center closes must call and place the request for January coverage on Thursday Dec. 19, 2019 before 6 p.m.

Customers who complete an application but do not follow the above steps will receive a Feb. 1, 2020 effective date of coverage.

Connect for Health Colorado provides free, expert help with the application and financial help process. To find help near you, visit ConnectforHealthCO.com/we-can-help.

The Open Enrollment period for 2020 coverage ends on Wednesday Jan. 15, 2020.

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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® Urges Residents to Shop by December 15 for January Coverage

DENVER –  Nearly 42,000 Coloradans signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado’s Marketplace between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30. Approximately 70 percent of applicants qualify for financial help in the first month of the Open Enrollment period. Residents must sign up for a plan by Dec. 15, 2019 to have coverage in place by Jan. 1, 2020, however, Open Enrollment runs through Jan. 15, 2020.

Coloradans can sign up for a Marketplace plan online, over the phone or in person with a certified enrollment expert. Connect for Health Colorado has 23 enrollment centers to provide residents with walk-in help at different times throughout the week. Residents can also schedule an appointment.

“We partner with hundreds of local brokers and assisters so that residents in every corner of the state can find the best plan for their budget and health needs,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “I urge residents to visit a nearby enrollment center or schedule an appointment with one of our experts before Dec. 15.”

Connect for Health Colorado enrollment teams organized events across the state ahead of the Dec. 15 deadline. Residents can find in-person assistance at more than 15 events from Glenwood Springs to Pueblo. To find help near you, visit ConnectforHealthCO.com/we-can-help.

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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® Reports Coloradans are Shopping Around for 2020 Coverage

DENVER — Nearly 24,000 Coloradans have signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado’s Marketplace between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15. for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2020.

More Coloradans buying their own health insurance are seeing lower premiums, largely due to the reinsurance program that passed this year. Reinsurance helps insurers with their most costly claims. However, given the complexities of how financial help available through the Marketplace is calculated, current customers should shop around to reduce monthly costs.

On average, those who qualify to automatically renew their plan would lower their premiums by 15 percent (compared to 2019) if they switch to the lowest-cost plan in their current level of coverage.

Almost 98 percent of returning customers so far have shopped around and signed up for a different plan in their current level of coverage to take advantage of savings in 2020.

“I am encouraged that our message to actively compare plans and review plan options is resonating,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson. “With less than a month until the deadline for January coverage, we continue to remind customers to take the time to shop in order to find the best value.”

During the two-week period, 23,930 Coloradans made medical plan selections. Approximately 20 percent of the plan selections are by customers who are new to Connect for Health Colorado for 2020, and 80 percent are returning customers. About 70 percent of applicants are qualifying for financial help to lower monthly costs.

“Shopping for a plan is more important this year, no matter which part of the state you live in or whether you qualify for financial help,” said Patterson. “We have hundreds of enrollment experts ready to help people understand how lower rates in their community affects their health insurance options and prices. We want to ensure that Coloradans know we are here to help them through the shopping process.”

In 2020, eight health insurance companies will be offering a total 130 plans through the Marketplace.

Open Enrollment started Nov. 1, 2019 and runs through Jan. 15, 2020. Consumers must sign up for a plan by Dec. 15, 2019 to have coverage in place by Jan. 1, 2020.

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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