DENVER— In its tenth year of enrollment operations, Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, is providing more financial help for health insurance, offering more local enrollment assistance and enrolling more people into coverage than ever before.
In a report published today, Connect for Health Colorado provides a comprehensive look at the Open Enrollment Period data and outcomes. (Connect for Health Colorado released preliminary enrollment totals from the Open Enrollment Period at the end of January.) This new report includes information such as average costs and enrollments by county and the significance of Broker and Assister enrollment assistance. Here are the highlights:
Making Plans More Affordable
Connect for Health Colorado is the only place where residents can access financial help to cover monthly premiums and health care costs. The extension of enhanced financial help via the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022 kept the cost of staying covered controlled for many customers. This year, the average premium for people who received financial help was $143. For people not receiving financial help, the average monthly premium was $412.
For a third year, the Marketplace saw an increase in people choosing Gold-level plans. Year over year, there was an 8-percentage point increase among those who qualify for financial help and a 10-percentage point increase for those who don’t qualify for financial help.
Increasing Enrollments in Rural Areas
One of Connect for Health Colorado’s strategic goals is to advocate to improve access to coverage in rural areas of the state. To support that effort, Connect for Health Colorado increased its enrollment assistance network in rural communities, with 26 of 51 Enrollment Center locations offered in rural communities and new sites added in Salida, Buena Vista and Durango.
Staying with a four-year trend, many of the largest increases in enrollments came from rural counties. The percentages of the population in these rural counties that enrolled through Connect for Health Colorado are comparable to more populous counties. For example, four percent of Kiowa County’s population enrolled through Connect for Health Colorado – the same percentage as the more populous Jefferson County. For people in rural counties, the average premium with financial help applied was $130.
Providing Expert Assistance in Your Community
Connect for Health Colorado’s certified Brokers continue to be integral partners in keeping Coloradans covered. In fact, the majority of customers enrolling in health insurance through the Marketplace, 62 percent, did so with the guidance of a Broker.
Certified Enrollment Assisters also provide crucial support to residents, especially those who face barriers to health care coverage. More than 50 percent of all completed appointments with Assisters were with customers who were uninsured for at least two months before their appointment, and over 40 percent of all completed appointments with Assisters were in Spanish.
Enrollment Centers maintained their role as important footholds in small, rural communities and larger cities. In total, nearly 46,000 Coloradans enrolled in Marketplace coverage at an Enrollment Center, and 82 percent of them received financial help.
You can find more data about plan selection trends, average costs and savings in your county, Colorado Option plans, outreach and marketing strategies to reach eligible Coloradans and more in the By the Numbers End of Open Enrollment Report for Plan Year 2023.
Opportunities to Enroll Now
People can enroll in health insurance now if they have a qualifying life event, such as losing Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) coverage, losing health insurance from your job and certain household changes.
Free help is available year-round from certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. Contact Connect for Health Colorado at ConnectforHealthCO.com or by calling 855-752-6749 to apply for health insurance during a Special Enrollment Period and to find local enrollment assistance.
Mónica Caballeros, Connect for Health Colorado, [email protected], 720-576-7995
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 help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. For more information: ConnectforHealthCO.com