Open enrollment begins as Colorado’s individual market continues to stabilize
The 2019 Open Enrollment Period started Nov. 1 and will run until Jan. 15, 2019 – but families must enroll by Dec. 15 to ensure that coverage starts the first of next year. According to the state Division of Insurance, the average Colorado premium increase for 2019 is 5.6 percent for those who buy their own coverage, significantly lower than in prior years. The news is even better for those who receive tax credits toward the purchase of their coverage – among those Coloradans, average premiums will actually decline by 24 percent. The small group market (health plans for small employers with two to 100 employees) will see a 7.15 percent increase. In addition to the low premium increases, all seven insurance companies will be returning to the Colorado insurance marketplace.
About 250,000 residents get their health insurance on the individual market. Of those, more than 180,000 are on the state exchange known as Connect for Health Colorado. Connect for Health for Colorado was created in 2011 after the Affordable Care Act passed. People who buy coverage through Connect for Health for Colorado may apply for subsidies to reduce their costs. More than 130,000 Coloradans got help paying for health insurance in 2018. This year, Connect for Health Colorado introduced a streamlined financial assistance application that can be completed in roughly half the time it took to complete last year’s application.
If you experience challenges getting through the financial assistance application, call 855-PLANS-4-YOU (855-752-6749) TTY 855-346-3432, accessible Monday through Friday from8 am to 6 p.m. You can also get in-person help through the following options:
- Certified community-based assisters (Health Coverage Guides and Certified Application Counselors) provide education about affordable health insurance to their respective communities. While they cannot make specific plan recommendations, these trusted experts can help you enroll and apply for financial help to lower your costs. Find an assister near you.
- Enrollment centers provide walk-in help at different times throughout the week. No appointment is necessary. Find an enrollment center.
- There is an option to find a broker near you or to have one call you directly. Brokers may charge a fee, though many continue to offer their services for free. Find a broker or have one call you.
You can learn more here.