Colorado Health Exchange Insurance Rates Comparison – View Rates

Get affordable health insurance Exchange rates for Colorado.  Within minutes, you can view top-rated single and family medical coverage at the best direct prices. If you need to quickly purchase a plan, we can help you find the most appropriate individual coverage and apply for a policy. We give you a clear explanation of the coverage and cost of each policy so you can choose the right plan. Seniors can also easily review Medicare Supplement, Advantage, and Part D prescription drug plans.

As the state’s premier trusted authority, we research and shop, so you save time and money. There are never any fees, costs, or obligation, and the published premiums are always the guaranteed lowest rates as mandated by the Department of Insurance. Our free online customized quotes allow you to find budget-friendly policy options that keep premiums low, and also help cover medical expenses, including out-of-pocket costs. Plans on and off the Marketplace are available.

 

What Is Connect For Health Colorado?

It is the official Marketplace where individuals and families can purchase medical coverage and receive up to a 100% Obamacare federal subsidy (you must qualify). Our website helps you easily compare the best available plans, calculate your subsidy, and if you wish, apply for coverage. Financial assistance through Medicaid and CHIP may also be available if your income meets Federal Poverty Limit guidelines. Open Enrollment for 2019 effective dates began on November 1st  For 2020, the OE period may begin on a different date.

More than 100 plans are offered through the  companies that are discussed below. The cheapest policies are categorized as “Catastrophic” and “Bronze,” while “Platinum” plans, since they have the lowest out of pocket costs, are typically the most expensive. “Gold” tier options are also available along with “Silver” policies, that qualify for special cost-sharing reduction features. The highest allowed deductible is $7,900, which is the most popular Bronze-tier deductible.

 

What About Dental?

Cheap Dental Plans For Colorado

Dental Insurance in Colorado Can Be Added As A Rider Or Purchased Separately

Dental coverage is offered by Anthem BCBS, Best Life, Cigna, Delta Dental, Premier Access and Dentegra. You can purchase individual dental plans without purchasing medical coverage. Vision plans may also be offered although benefits are often limited to one pair of glasses (or contacts) and an annual checkup.

Delta typically offers the most competitive rates in most areas of the state. Three plans (Enhanced, Classic, and Clear) are offered to adults and dependents. In addition to a large selection of providers, Delta offers no deductible, fixed dollar amount, and out-of-network benefits. Two of the plans are also Exchange-certified. Many carriers offer “discount” plans, that feature lower premiums and higher out-of-pocket expenses.

Since these plans are mostly not impacted by recent legislation, waiting periods for major services (such as root canal, crowns, dentures, implants, oral surgery etc…) are often 6-12 months. Although annual preventative checkups and x-rays are typically immediately covered with small copays, other services often have larger copays, bigger deductibles, and maximum coverage limits. Orthodontia treatment is often not included, although selected discounts may apply.

Who Offers Individual Colorado Health Insurance Plans


The following companies offer single and family medical coverage. Depending on your household income, you may be eligible for a federal subsidy.

 

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Bright Health Plan

Friday Health Plans

Cigna

Kaiser Permanente

Elevate (Denver Health Medical Plan)

Rocky Mountain Health Plans

Note: Small Group (Employer-provided) coverage is provided by the following carriers: Aetna Health, Aetna Life, Anthem (HMO Colorado), Anthem (Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service), Friday Health Plans, Humana Health, Humana Insurance, Kaiser Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Rocky Mountain HMO, UnitedHealthcare, and UHC of Colorado.

 

Short-term policies are issued by several carriers, including UnitedHealthcare, who offers very inexpensive prices. However, a deductible generally applies to most services and out-of-pocket expenses are higher than comparable Marketplace options. If you missed the Open Enrollment deadline, obtaining benefits through the end of the year can be accomplished if you meet underwriting guidelines.

NOTE: Temporary plans are also offered by HCC Life, National General, LifeShield National, Independence American, and IHC Group. Since temporary contracts do not contain all 10 essential health benefits, they are not considered “qualified” coverage. Therefore, no tax subsidies are applicable, pre-exsisting conditions may not be covered.  Small group coverage is offered by several carriers that don’t offer individual policies (Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare).

 

Senior Healthcare Coverage?

Once you reach age 65, or if you become disabled, you are probably eligible for Medicare. Approximately 90 days before your 65th birthday, you should contact the Social Security Administration and enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B.  Although there is no charge for Part A, Part B usually costs at least $100 per month. Supplemental contracts can help you pay for some of the gaps in benefits.

Anthem is a popular choice if you have reached age 65 and need a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap). Plans A,F and G are their primary offerings. Aetna, Anthem and Humana offer competitive Medicare Advantage policies. Several Five-Star and Four-Star options (US News) include UnitedHealthcare Erickson Advantage Champion, Freedom, and Guardian, Kaiser Permanante Senior Advantage Core and Silver, UnitedHealthcare AARP MedicareComplete, Aetna Medicare Prime Plan, Humana Gold Plus, UnitedHealthcare Assisted Living and Nursing Home Plans.

Humana, Cigna, WellCare, Anthem and Aetna offer Medicare Part D (prescription) plans. Some of the most common benefits of Medigap coverage are Part A and B deductibles, Part B excess charges, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and blood.

More than 30 carriers offer Medicare Supplement policies in Colorado. Additional carriers that feature very attractive rates include: American Republic, Central States, Equitable Life, Gerber, Globe, Heartland National, Medico, Rocky Mountain, State Farm, and Transamerica.

 

Colorado Medicare Supplement Plan Rates

Shown below are the most recent published estimated monthly rates for a 65 year-old female from many participating companies. Prices typically change each year, and carriers may enter or leave the marketplace. Certain plans may not be offered in all counties.

 

Plan A Female Age 65 Denver, Arapahoe,  and Jefferson Counties

$70 – AARP/UnitedHealthcare

$101 – United American

$111 – Mutual Of Omaha

$114 – Cigna

$117 – Manhattan Life

$117 – CSI Life

$126 – Equitable

$130 – Aetna

$131 – Combined Insurance

$133 – Oxford Life

$135 – American Retirement Life

$138 – Individual Assurance

$146 – Humana

$147 – Gerber

 

Plan F Female Age 65 Denver, Arapahoe,  and Jefferson Counties

$144 – AARP-UnitedHealthcare

$150 – Medico

$151 – Combined Insurance

$153 – Mutual Of Omaha

$155 – Manhattan Life

$161 – Oxford Life

$161 – CSI Life

$179 – Equitable

$196 – Humana

$203 – Aetna

$213 – Gerber

 

Plan F (High Deductible)  Female Age 65 Denver, Arapahoe,  and Jefferson Counties

$32 – United American

$43 – Cigna

$45 – Medico

$46 – Mutual Of Omaha

$63 – Humana

$79 – Aetna

 

Plan N Female Age 65 Denver, Arapahoe,  and Jefferson Counties

$96 – American Retirement Life

$98 – AARP-UnitedHealthcare

$100 – Cigna

$100 – Medico

$101 – United American

$103 – Mutual Of Omaha

$104 – Individual Assurance

$108 – Oxford Life

$109 – Humana

$109 – CSI Life

$109 – Manhattan Life

$125 – Equitable

$128 – Aetna

$129 – Combined Insurance

 

Plan A Female Age 65 El Paso, Douglas, Broomfield,  and Elbert Counties

$62 – AARP/UnitedHealthcare

$101 – United American

$111 – Mutual Of Omaha

$114 – Cigna

$117 – Medico

$117 – CSI Life

$117 – Manhattan Life

$126 – Equitable

$130 – Humana

$131 – Combined Insurance

$133 – Oxford Life

$147 – Gerber

 

Plan C Female Age 65 El Paso, Douglas, Broomfield,  and Elbert Counties

$127 – AARP-UnitedHealthcare

$157 – Manhattan Life

$160 – Mutual Of Omaha

$171 – Humana

$177 – United American

 

Plan N Female Age 65 El Paso, Douglas, Broomfield,  and Elbert Counties

$87 – AARP-UnitedHealthcare

$96 – American Retirement Life

$97 – Humana

$100 – Cigna

$101 – United American

$103 – Mutual Of Omaha

$105 – Medico

$108 – Oxford Life

$109 – CSI Life

$109 – Manhattan Life

$112 – Equitable

$128 – Aetna

$129 – Combined Insurance

 

Plan A Female Age 65 Adams County

$70 – AARP/UnitedHealthcare

$101 – United American

$111 – Mutual Of Omaha

$114 – Cigna

$117 – CSI Life

$117 – Manhattan Life

$117 – Medico

$118 – Oxford Life

$120 – Combined Insurance

$126 – Equitable

$130 – Aetna

$135 – American Retirement Life

$146 – Humana

$147 – Gerber

 

Plan N Female Age 65 Adams County

$96 – American Retirement Life

$98 – AARP-UnitedHealthcare

$100 – Cigna

$101 – United American

$103 – Mutual Of Omaha

$105 – Medico

$108 – Oxford Life

$109 – Humana

$109 – CSI Life

$109 – Manhattan Life

$112 – Equitable

$128 – Aetna

$129 – Combined Insurance

 

Plan F (High Deductible) Female Age 65 Adams County

$32 – United American

$43 – Cigna

$45 – Medico

$46 – Mutual Of Omaha

$63 – Humana

$79 – Aetna

 

Colorado Part D Prescription Drug Plans 

AARP MedicareRx Walgreens – $415 deductible with $28.00 monthly premium. Preferred 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $0, $15, and $90 respectively. Preferred 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $0, $5,  and $30.

Aetna Medicare Rx Saver – $365 deductible with $28.90 monthly premium. Preferred 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $3, $6, and $90 respectively. Preferred 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $1, $2,  and $30.

Aetna Medicare Rx Select – $380 deductible with $17.40 monthly premium. Preferred 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $0, $6, and $141 respectively. Preferred 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $0, $2,  and $47.

Anthem BCBS Blue MedicareRX Plus – $0 deductible with $113.20 monthly premium. Preferred 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $3, $9, and $120 respectively. Preferred 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3, is $1, $3, and $40.

Anthem BCBS Blue MedicareRX Standard – $325 deductible with $92.50 monthly premium. Preferred 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $3, $15, and $90 respectively. Preferred 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3, is $1, $5, and $30.

Cigna-HealthSpring Rx Secure-Essential – $415 deductible with $21.80 monthly premium. Preferred 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $2, $6, and 20% respectively. Preferred 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $1, $3,  and 20%.

EnvisionRxPlus – $405 deductible with $29.50 monthly premium. Standard 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, 3, and 4 is $45, $54, 20%, and 32% respectively. Standard 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, 3, and 4 is $15, $18, 20%, and 32%.

Express Scrips Medicare Choice – $350 deductible with $89 monthly premium. Standard 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $0, $4, and 24% respectively. Standard 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $2, $7,  and 22%.

Express Scrips Medicare Value – $400 deductible with $59 monthly premium. Standard 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $3, $6, and $114 respectively. Standard 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $0, $3,  and 38%.

Express Scrips Medicare Saver – $405 deductible with $22.60 monthly premium. Standard 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $3, $12, and 18% respectively. Standard 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $1, $4,  and 18%.

Humana Walmart Rx Plan – $405 deductible with $20.40 monthly premium. Standard 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $3, $12, and 25% respectively. Standard 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $1, $4,  and 25%.

SilverScript Choice – $0 deductible with $29.90 monthly premium. Standard 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, 3, and 4 is $30, $60, $141, and 50% respectively. Standard 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, 3, and 4 is $10, $20, $47, and 50%.

Symphonix Value Rx – $405 deductible with $25.40 monthly premium. Standard 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $3, $9, and $81 respectively. Standard 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $1, $3,  and $27.

WellCare Classic – $405 deductible with $30.20 monthly premium. Standard 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $18, $27, and $117 respectively. Standard 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $6, $9,  and $39.

WellCare Value Script – $415 deductible with $16.20 monthly premium. Standard 90-day mail order cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $9, $21, and $141 respectively. Standard 30-day retail cost-sharing for Tiers 1, 2, and 3 is $3, $7,  and $47.

 

 

Find Cheap Medical Coverage In Denver

Compare Low Cost Colorado Health Insurance Rates

How Quickly Can I View Prices?

Almost instantly, since it is a very simple process. Once we know the zip code where you reside, current rates can be calculated for yourself and any other family members. Naturally, prices on “temporary” policies will be the least expensive, since benefits are basic and a deductible typically applies to most coverage.

Until State Exchanges (also referred to as Marketplaces) were fully integrated in 2014, medical history  influenced rates. However,  the Exchanges eliminated most underwriting (other than non-medical) when the Affordable Care Act law was passed and implemented. A federal tax subsidy could help you pay your policy. We can quickly determine which option benefits you most.

To qualify for coverage, you must be a legal resident of the state, and the US. If you are  Medicare-eligible, you can not enroll in an Exchange plan. If you qualify for Medicaid, you can purchase a qualified policy , but will not receive a subsidy. Medicaid premiums will be significantly less expensive.

Medicaid

The Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) determines your Medicaid eligibility. If household income is under 142% of the MAGI, children to age 18 will qualify. Pregnant females use a 195% ratio. Adults with no children utilize a 133% ratio.

CO Medicaid benefits and services information can also be accessed through this direct link. Details about Copayments, exclusions, prior authorization, dental services, and vision care  can be easily viewed.

 

What Are The Cheapest Available Under-65 Health Insurance Plans In Colorado?

Although “Catastrophic”  plans are the least expensive, they are only offered to persons under age 30, unless you meet specific financial hardship guidelines. Since “Bronze” contracts are available to everyone, we listed below several of the cheapest policies offered. Household income/subsidy reductions were not considered.  Also, many policies are not available in all counties. The Colorado Department of Insurance regulates participating companies and approves all plans (Group and private). Proposed rate changes are also reviewed by the DOI.

 

Catastrophic Tier

Bright Health Catastrophic – $0 copay for first three pcp office visits. $7,900 deductible with $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 0% coinsurance.

Friday Health Plans Friday Value Choice 100 – $0 copay for first three pcp office visits. $7,900 deductible with $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 0% coinsurance.

Kaiser KP CO Catastrophic – $0 copay for first three pcp office visits. $7,900 deductible with $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 0% coinsurance.

Anthem BCBS Catastrophic Pathway X HMO 7900 – $40 copay for first three pcp and telehealth office visits. $7,900 deductible with $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 0% coinsurance.

 

Bronze Tier

Bright Health Bronze – $50 copay for pcp office visits. $7,900 deductible with $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 40% coinsurance. The Urgent Care copay is $75. Generic, preferred brand, and non-preferred brand drug copays are $40, $200, and $400.

Bright Health Bronze Perks – $35 copay for pcp office visits. $6,000 deductible with $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 40% coinsurance. The Urgent Care copay is $75. Generic drug copay is $25.

Bright Health Bronze HSA – HSA-eligible plan with $6,750 deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $6,750 and 0% coinsurance.

Kaiser KP CO 6500/50 – $50 copay for first two pcp office visits. $6,500 deductible with $7,850 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 50% coinsurance.

Kaiser KP CO 5250/50 – $50 copay for first two pcp office visits. $5,250 deductible with $7,850 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 40% coinsurance.

Kaiser KP CP Bronze 5500/30%/HSA – HSA-eligible plan with $5,500 deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $6,650 and 30% coinsurance.

Kaiser KP CO Bronze 6000/50 RX Copay – $50 copay for first two pcp office visits. $6,000 deductible with $7,850 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 40% coinsurance. Generic, preferred brand, and non-preferred brand drug copays are $30, $150, and $350. The Specialty drug copay is $570.

Cigna Connect Flex Bronze 7000 – $50 pcp office visit copay (first two visits) and $10 telehealth copay.  $7,000 deductible with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $7,900 and 50% coinsurance.

Friday Health Plans Friday Bronze X –  $7,900 deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $7,900 and 0% coinsurance.

Anthem BCBS Bronze Pathway X HMO 5800 – $45 copay for first two pcp office visits.  $100 Urgent Care copay. $5,800 deductible with $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 30% coinsurance.

Anthem BCBS Bronze Pathway X HMO 6650 For HSA – HSA-eligible plan with $6,650 deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $6,650 and 0% coinsurance.

Elevate By Denver Medical Plan Bronze Standard –  $7,700 deductible with $7,700 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 0% coinsurance.

 

Silver-Tier  (Eligible For Cost-Sharing)

Kaiser KP Select CO Silver 4500/30 – $30 and $60 office visit copays with $100 Urgent Care copay.  $4,500 deductible with $7,500 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 35% coinsurance. Generic and preferred brand drug copays are  $15 and $60, and $30 and $120 (90-day mail order).

Kaiser KP Select CO Silver 3000/20%/HSA – HSA-eligible plan with $3,000 deductible, 20% coinsurance, and $5,500 maximum out-of-pocket expenses. Drug copays are offered after the deductible is met.

Kaiser KP Select CO Silver 3500/30 RX Copay – $30 and $60 office visit copays with $100 Urgent Care copay.  $3,500 deductible with $7,500 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 35% coinsurance. Generic and preferred brand drug copays are  $15 and $60, and $30 and $120 (90-day mail order). The non-preferred brand copays are $350 and $700.

Kaiser KP Select CO Silver 2500/25 – $25 and $60 office visit copays with $100 Urgent Care copay.  $2,500 deductible with $7,500 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 35% coinsurance. Generic and preferred brand drug copays are  $15 and $60, and $30 and $120 (90-day mail order).

Cigna Connect Flex Silver 4500 – $35 pcp office visit copay (first three visits) with $4,500 deductible, $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses, and 15% coinsurance.  $55 Urgent Care copay. $8, $25, and $60 copays for preferred generic, generic, and preferred brand drugs ($24, $75, and $180 mail order).

Cigna Connect Flex Silver 3500 – $30 pcp office visit copay (first three visits) with $3,500 deductible, $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses, and 25% coinsurance.  $50 Urgent Care copay. $8, $25, and $60 copays for preferred generic, generic, and preferred brand drugs ($24, $75, and $180 mail order).

Cigna Connect Flex Silver 2500 – $30 pcp office visit copay (first three visits) with $2,500 deductible, $7,900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses, and 40% coinsurance.  $50 Urgent Care copay. $8, $30, and $60 copays for preferred generic, generic, and preferred brand drugs ($24, $90, and $180 mail order).

Elevate Silver Standard – $3,250 deductible with $7,150 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 30%coinsurance. $20, $35, and $70 copays for generic, preferred brand, and non-preferred brand drugs respectively.

Elevate Silver Select –  $40 and $65 office visit copays with $125 Urgent Care copay. $3,750 deductible with $7,150 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 30% coinsurance. $20 and $55 copays for generic and  preferred brand drugs  ($40 and $110 mail order).

Bright Health Silver HSA – HSA-eligible plan with $3,300 deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $6,600 and 20% coinsurance.

Bright Health Silver – $40 and $75 office visit copays.  $4,000 deductible with $7,350 maximum out-of-pocket expenses and 40% coinsurance. The Urgent Care copay is $75.  Generic, preferred brand, and non-preferred brand drug copays are $25, $80, and $180. The Specialty drug copay is $600.

Cigna Connect Silver 4000 – $30 pcp office visit copay with $4,000 deductible  and 10% coinsurance.  $50 Urgent Care copay. Preferred generic, non-preferred generic and preferred brand drug copays are $8, $25, and $60 (mail-order copays are $24, $75, and $180).

 

How Much Does Coverage Cost?

 

Of course, there are many scenarios. For this example, monthly rates are shown for a 34- year-old living in Denver with approximate income of $25,000 per year. Rates shown below are monthly. The federal subsidy has been applied. This list represents only a small portion of available policies.

$102 – Bear EPO HSA (Colorado Health Coop)

$107 – Bear EPO (Colorado Health Coop)

$117 – KP Select CO Bronze 5000/30%/HSA (Kaiser)

$138 – Bison Flex EPO (Colorado Health Coop)

$142 – Bronze 6300 (Humana)

$172 –  3650 Silver (Humana)

$189 – Bighorn EPO-HSA (Colorado Health Coop)

$209 – KP Select CO Gold 1000/20 (Kaiser)

$254 – Platinum 1000 (Humana)

 

How Do I Buy A  Plan?

 

It’s actually very easy. Once you have requested a free quote on this website, shortly, you’ll be presented with the best options for your medical coverage. After you have picked the plan to apply for (you can choose to compare yourself or utilize our assistance), you can enroll by phone, mail, or online. During Open Enrollment and SEP exemptions, no medical questions are asked and the process typically takes about 15 minutes.

If you qualify for a federal subsidy, an instant tax credit reduces the premium and you may also be eligible for “cost-sharing” on Silver-tier plans. This feature can substantially lower your deductible, copays, and maximum out-of-pocket costs.

If you miss Open Enrollment, we will show you the most affordable plan options that will cover you until the next Open enrollment period begins.

 

Denver Area Healthcare Options

Does It Make  A Difference Where I Live?

Yes, it does. Although it is not a significant difference, often bigger cities, such as Denver, Aurora, Lakewood or West Adams, will have different pricing than smaller cities, such as Durango, Fort Carson, Wheat Ridge or Fruita. One of the major determinants in rates is how expensive (or inexpensive) the cost of an office visit, lab test or daily stay in a hospital is. And of course, the proximity of the hospital or provider will impact the prices.

The process changed starting in 2014 (actual Open Enrollment began October 2013). We will continue to help you find the best medical coverage in Colorado. However, your premium will no longer be based on your health. Instead, where you live, how old you are, whether you smoke and how much money you make will be the main criteria. A “Marketplace” in the state will decide which plans you can purchase and what companies will participate in this Exchange.

Initially, 10 carriers  notified the Department Of Insurance that they would like to offer Exchange policies, although the number has gradually increased.  Prices start (approximately) at $200 per month for a single option and $700 per month for a family policy. The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) is anticipated  increased business activity as a result of the easier access of coverage.

 

Older Updates:

More than 150,000 persons visited the “Connect For Health” website the first week of Open Enrollment. Since it is NOT the federal Marketplace, most  glitches and delays were avoided. The deadline for submitting an application for a Jan 1, 2014 effective date is December 15th.

Because the cost of  new 2015 state benchmark plans (second lowest-cost Silver tier policy) are reducing by about 15%, other subsidized plans will receive less financial aid, and many persons may see large rate increases if they keep their 2014 policy. For applicants that qualified for tax credits, the average increase may be as much as $100 per month.

About four out of five residents of the state live in counties where the second lowest-cost Silver option price is going down, thus increasing many other person’s pricing. To offset increases, consumers can  shop multiple plan options, and consider higher-deductibles and different tiers.

The Colorado Health Benefits Exchange has a new Board member. Denise M. O’Leary was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the unpaid position. She will serve until next July. There are a total of 12 members, although only nine have voting privileges.

Also, Connect For Health is raising fees on plans purchased through the 2016 Marketplace from 1.4% to 3.5%. This does not include the expected rate increases on most individual plans. Despite the increase, the Exchange will run their operations in the red, with expected losses to be approximately $5 million. Profitability is hoped to occur within two years.

Single-payer health insurance in Colorado? Although unlikely, it could become a reality in 2017 or 2018 if about 98,000 signatures are collected by October 23rd.  “Initiative 20”  would cost state residents $25 billion and needs the signatures to appear on the ballot.  If passed, “Connect For Healthcare Colorado” would slowly be dismantled and replaced by a State Board.

Instead, a 10% tax would be added to premiums to pay for the program. However, there is no guarantee that the 10% increase will be enough to sustain the new program. Although residents would still have the flexibility to choose different providers, the cost of treatment would be paid by the government, and not private insurers. Dubbed “ColoradoCare” by its supporters, an additional benefit to help pay premiums would be the lowering of administrative costs.

Colorado Health OP, the state’s CO-OP established by the Obamacare legislation, has been shut down by the Department of Insurance. No plans will be sold through the State Marketplace for 2016. The Co-OP, however disagrees with the DOI decision, stating that they planned to pay back all outstanding federal loans by their due date.

However, the risk to consumers outweighed the financial instability of Colorado Health OP, and new policies will no longer be sold. The “Risk Corridor” shortage was a concern since not enough money was currently held in reserves.  Any submitted claim on an existing policy is expected to be paid.

Universal Health Care is back on the ballot. More than 150,000 signatures were submitted, so next year the state will vote again to opt out of the ACA Legislation. If approved, employers would pay an additional 7% of each employee’s  income. Stay tuned because the battle is just beginning.

Open Enrollment for 2018 coverage begins November 1, and ends January 12. An extra 28 days is provided compared to the Federal Marketplace dates. Although rates are increasing, all carriers are returning, including Anthem. Nine companies will offer policies, although specific rates have not yet been determined.