States seeking to reduce their uninsured populations must beware a Catch-22

By David M. Anderson, Charles Gaba, Louise Norris and Andrew Sprung State policymakers have been prolific and creative in putting forward measures to strengthen their ACA marketplaces. Measures enacted since 2017 or in progress now include reinsurance programs, which reduced base premiums by an average of 20% in their first year in the first seven […]

2018 Connect for Health Colorado Individual Market Enrollment

Short term health insurance is your best option if you missed open enrollment

Short term health insurance plans don’t have an open enrollment period Short term health insurance plans may be the best option if you missed open enrollment and you don’t have a qualifying event. Get short term health insurance quotes Qualifying events include marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, moving to a new area where different plans are […]

Colorado making great progress covering the uninsured and underinsured

Last November, the 2013 Colorado Health Access Survey was released with a variety of updated data, including the number of Colorado residents who were uninsured in 2013:  about 741,000.  That was down from 829,000 two years earlier, but is still 14% of our state population.  And it doesn’t include the people who are considered underinsured […]

Connect for Health Colorado Updates On The End Of Open Enrollment for Health Insurance in 2014

Back in October, six months probably seemed like plenty of time to have open enrollment for health insurance in 2014.  And for all the procrastinators out there – you know who you are! – there was always tomorrow.  But we’re now down to just one week remaining in open enrollment.  The good news is that […]

Health Wonk Review at Wright on Health

Brad Wright hosted the most recent Health Wonk Review at his excellent blog, Wright on Health, and it’s a must-read.  Or in some cases, a must-watch.  Check out, a resource submitted to the HWR by Jared Rhoads.  Plenty of good stuff on there, with viewpoints from a variety of political perspectives. And also don’t […]

Wouldn’t it be more efficient to spread ACA open enrollment across the whole year?

As we head into the final few weeks of open enrollment, there’s likely to be a surge of applications both on an off the exchange.  And that means an uptick in phone calls to carriers and brokers, ID cards and policies being mailed out, premium payments being processed… all of the things that go along […]

Connect for Health Colorado Exceeding Enrollment Targets

By February 17, Connect for Health Colorado had enrolled 79,779 people in private health insurance plans, and another 128,219 in Medicaid.  Prior to the start of open enrollment, CMS published monthly enrollment targets for each state – based on those numbers, Colorado’s target for the end of February was 73,600 people enrolled in private plans. […]

Understanding Drug Formularies On New Individual Health Insurance Plans In Colorado

Colorado residents only: Compare how each health insurance company covers your medication with our exclusive Colorado prescription drug formulary transparency tool. Opponents of the ACA have raised the issue of drug formularies as a negative aspect of the new ACA-compliant plans, complaining that the new plans won’t cover all of the medications people need.  Just like many of their […]

Connect for Health Colorado Enrollment Update And Upcoming Deadlines

Between December 29 and January 31, Connect for Health Colorado enrolled 19,502 people in private qualified health plans.  When HHS released their December report last month, Colorado’s total enrollment in QHPs was just over 50,000 people.  That number had climbed to nearly 70,000 people by the end of January.  Total enrollment at the end of […]

Future Healthcare Expenses Will Not Necessarily Mirror Past Expenses

I recently wrote an article responding to the Americans for Prosperity video about Emilie Lamb that has been making its way around the internet.  I spoke with Emilie and took a good look at the plan she used to have, comparing it with her new Platinum plan.  To sum it up, her old plan was […]

Carrier Contact Information And Updates For People Who Need To Pay January’s Premium

Today, January 10th, is the payment deadline for most Connect for Health Colorado policies with January 1 effective dates.  A few carriers have pushed the deadline out a little bit: Updated  Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is moving the payment deadline to 1/31 for 1/1 effective dates. Delta Dental:  January 15. Premier Access Dental […]

Do Not Assume Your Provider Network Will Be The Same As It Was Last Year

A description of PPO, HMO, EPO and a search tools for all carriers is available here. EDIT 2/18/14:  Connect for Health Colorado updates the provider directory once per month.  It is possible therefore that the list may not be up-to-date at all times.  If you have questions, you can call your carrier directly, or contact […]

What Is An Essential Health Benefit (EHB)?

Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) are one of the most important aspects of the ACA’s transformation of the individual health insurance market (they also apply in the small group market, but group policies have historically been more benefit-rich than plans sold in the individual market).  In the past, insurers were given tremendous leeway in plan design; […]

Pediatric Dental on 2014 Individual Health Insurance Policies in Colorado

If you’re confused by the new pediatric dental requirements, you’re not alone.  Here’s a rundown of how the ACA and HHS regulations impact pediatric dental coverage, with Colorado-specific details: The ACA defines pediatric dental coverage as one of the ten essential health benefits (EHBs) that must be covered on all new individual and small group […]

Tobacco Use: ACA and Colorado Regulations

Back in January, I looked at the issue of tobacco use and the ACA from a mostly philosophical perspective.  But we also wanted to provide a summary of what’s going on here in Colorado with regards to tobacco and the new health insurance policies that are available for 2014.  Although the ACA has eliminated the practice of […]

Catastrophic Plans Not Significantly Less Expensive In Colorado

Even if you’ve been paying pretty close attention to media coverage of the ACA over the last few years, you might not know a whole lot about the ACA’s catastrophic plans.  They haven’t been heavily publicized by HHS or the rest of the Obama Administration, they’re not eligible for subsidies, and they have relatively thin […]

Thanksgiving Cavalcade of Risk

Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to the 197th Cavalcade of Risk!  If you’re a brave soul who relishes the thought of a family dinner filled with spirited debates about healthcare reform, insurance and risk, we’ve got plenty of fodder for your conversations.  Just don’t steer the conversation over the line into politics, especially after a glass […]

Imagine How Much Better Open Enrollment Would Have Been Without The Exchanges

We’ve all heard Secretary Sebelius talk about how amazing it is that “for the first time” Americans who buy their own health insurance have a place where they can see all of their options in one place, compare plans, and enroll in coverage.  Anyone who has taken more than a cursory glance at the individual health […]

Rational Thoughts on the Exchange Rollout, and Other Health Wonkery

Hank Stern did an excellent job hosting the Health Wonk Review today.  Head over to check it out – you’ll learn all sorts of things about health care policy and reform, and you’ll also learn why this Thanksgiving/Chanukah overlap is truly a once in a lifetime event. My favorite posts in this edition come from […]

How Does Obama’s Policy Continuation Announcement Impact Colorado’s Individual Market?

By now you’ve probably heard about the Obama Administration’s compromise over the policy cancellation uproar.  The fix that Obama has offered is that health insurance companies can extend existing plans for one more year, allowing them to continue to exist in 2014.  This has been incorrectly reported in some media outlets as allowing carriers to continue […]

Colorado Senator Udall Introduces Bill To Allow Individual Policies To Continue For Two More Years

Colorado Senator Mark Udall introduced legislation today that would allow people with individual health insurance to keep their existing policies for two more years – through the end of 2015 – regardless of any cancellation notices that have already been sent out.  Udall’s Continuous Coverage Act is designed to smooth the transition to ACA-compliant plans. […]

News From The Health Wonks – Lots Going On In Health Care Reform Land

Brad Wright did an outstanding job with the Health Wonk Review this week, hosted at his always excellent blog, Wright on Health.  There are plenty of posts about the latest in ACA implementation, including several differing viewpoints on the recent news about policy cancellations. I particularly liked Joe Paduda’s article about Medicaid expansion – it’s an […]

Getting Past The Health Insurance Plan Cancellation Hysteria

Much has been said recently about how the ACA is causing a tidal wave of policy cancellations, and resulting in people losing coverage that they would prefer to keep.  The frustrating part about this – as has generally been the case with every big uproar about the ACA – is that we’re not really getting […]

Fewer Plans Available In Exchanges In 2013, But Maybe That’s A Good Thing

At the end of September, just as the exchanges were about to open for business, HealthPocket created a comparison of the number of individual and family health insurance policies available in each state in 2013 and compared that with the number of policies that would be available in each state’s exchange in 2014.  It’s an […]