Colorado Health OP risk corridor payment shortfall

EDIT 10/7/15: Updated information from Colorado Health OP added at the end of this post. EDIT 10/17/15: Updated with more details about the budget-neutrality of the risk corridor program.  EDIT 10/20/15: On October 19, Colorado Health OP filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court, seeking an injunction and temporary restraining order to allow them to participate in the […]

IRS 2016 HSA contribution limits and out-of-pocket maximums

Open enrollment is just around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about the health insurance plan you want in 2016. HSA-qualified high deductible health plans (HDHPs) have remained a popular choice among consumers, with enrollment climbing every year for more than a decade. And while there used to be concerns that the ACA’s […]

Fall Colors Health Wonk Review

Fall may have arrived, but here in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, we’re still having beautiful summer-like days.  We’ve got a few yellow leaves here and there, but the pictures in this edition of the Health Wonk Review are mostly from years gone by, because we’re enjoying a particularly green September at the moment. […]

Potential legislation could change how health insurance works in Colorado

The Colorado Health Insurance Exchange Oversight Committee (a group of five Senators and five Representatives) met last week to discuss possible legislative ideas that could alter the health insurance system in Colorado.  The committee “passed” four bill ideas, which means they’ll be drafted by the Legislative Council this week and discussed in more detail at another […]

Health Wonks and Selfies

Steve Anderson did a great job with the selfies edition of the Health Wonk Review, hosted at MedicareResources.org this week.  There’s plenty of great reading material in this edition, so be sure to check it out.  Some of my favorites: Wendell Potter’s article about prescription drugs, Medicare, lawmakers, and pharmaceutical lobbying is a must-read.  The […]

Access to healthcare in Colorado: A new day, but there’s still work to be done

Colorado Uninsured Rate Down 53% Every other year since 2009, the Colorado Health Access survey has been conducted by interviewing at least 10,000 Colorado households on a variety of health-related metrics.  The 2015 report was released on September 1, and is aptly titled “A New Day in Colorado.”  One of the biggest headline grabbers in the latest […]

August Health Wonkery

Yes, it’s August, but the title would be fitting regardless of the month – there’s a lot of good stuff in this edition!  Peggy Salvatore did a great job putting together the latest Health Wonk Review, aptly titled “the more things change, the more they cost.”  Here are some of my favorites from this week’s round […]

Universal healthcare in Colorado – does one size really fit all?

Universal healthcare coverage could be a reality in Colorado a few years from now, although it admittedly has some significant hurdles to overcome in the meantime.  Supporters need to gather 99,000 signatures in order to get the ColoradoCare initiative on the 2016 ballot.  And then voters would need to approve the measure in order to […]

Hot Summer Nights, Cool Summer Drinks HWR

Hank Stern of InsureBlog has put together the latest Health Wonk Review: Hot Summer Nights, Cool Summer Drinks.  Make sure to check it out.

A petition to make pregnancy a qualifying event in Colorado – but something doesn’t add up

Last month, Broomfield resident Sean Jenks created a Change.org petition asking Colorado lawmakers to allow a special enrollment period for women who become pregnant.  It’s picked up considerably steam in the last 24 hours, and now has more than 13,000 supporters. Jenks points out that New York and California have taken steps to make pregnancy […]

Broker participation in Connect for Health Colorado

As of the end of June, Connect for Health Colorado had 134,200 people with effectuated individual private plan enrollments for 2015.  Of those, 62,146 had help from a broker, and 9,509 had help from a health coverage guide (Colorado’s version of navigators).  According to the Connect for Health Colorado 2015 enrollment report, just 1% of […]

Connect for Health Colorado board meeting – Jay’s proposals

Earlier this month, Representative Hullinghorst, the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, appointed Jay to the Connect for Health Colorado board of directors.  Jay and I have always worked as a team, and we’re honored and excited to have the opportunity to help guide the exchange going forward.  We welcome feedback from the rest […]

Proposed rate increases in Colorado: CO-OP up 21%, Kaiser up 2%

The back-story Last September, when we wrote about the fact that the average individual rates increase in Colorado was less than one percent for 2015, we noted that the overall rate increase was astoundingly low – far lower than anything we’d seen during our time in this industry. And although it will be several more weeks […]

Summertime! Health Wonk Review

Another school year has come to a close, it’s still daylight well into the evening these days here in the northern hemisphere, and I’ve got summer on the brain.  So welcome to the Summertime! edition of the Health Wonk Review!  Since King v. Burwell is on a lot of minds these days, I thought we’d […]

Health wonk reading for the Memorial Day weekend

Julie Ferguson did an outstanding job with this week’s Health Wonk Review, and it’s full of great articles from our favorite health wonks. A must-read is Charles Gaba’s excellent run-down on what you need to know about rate increase filings.  Gaba’s is the wizard behind ACAsignups.net, and he does an outstanding job of crunching up […]

The Luis Lang story – an update and my own thoughts

Last week, Ann Doss Helms wrote an article for the Charlotte Observer about Luis Lang, a SC man with diabetes who will go blind if he doesn’t get eye surgery in the near future.  In a nutshell, Luis Lang is a Republican who opted to ignore the ACA’s individual mandate in 2014, and he also […]

Grumpy Cat and the Health Wonks

Steve Anderson hosted the Health Wonk Review this week at Medicare Resources, and it’s not to be missed.  It features Grumpy Cat, but despite the grumpy theme, you might just LOL.  And ponder something that “could turn your frown that was upside down back the way it was” One of my favorites in this edition […]

Health Wonkery – replacing Obamacare, covering undocumented immigrants, and much more

Joe Paduda did an excellent job with the latest edition of the Health Wonk Review over at Managed Care Matters.  My favorite post in the HWR comes from Tim Jost, writing at Health Affairs.  His article, about what would replace the ACA if it were repealed, is an excellent read.  Jost digs deep into the […]

A new job is not a qualifying event for a SEP

Now that open enrollment is over, the only way people can enroll in individual health plans is with a qualifying event.  This applies both on and off the exchange. Outside of open enrollment, individual/family health insurance is only for sale if you’ve got a special enrollment period triggered by a qualifying event. So what constitutes […]

What if your coverage gap spans two calendar years?

Last week, I wrote a post detailing exactly how the ACA’s “short coverage gap” exemption works.  In a nutshell, as long as your gap in coverage is less than three months long and you maintain coverage for the rest of the year, you don’t have to pay a penalty for being without coverage. In that […]

Short Gap in ACA coverage – IRS Says Three Months is Too Long

One of the exemptions from the ACA’s individual mandate penalty is for people who have a short gap in ACA coverage.  According to the IRS regulations (see page 53654), there’s no penalty as long as the “continuous period without minimum essential coverage is less than three full calendar months and is the first short coverage […]

Spring Break Health Wonkery

Jennifer Salopek hosted the Health Wonk Review this week at Wing of Zock, and there’s lots of good weekend reading in this spring break edition.  Several posts stood out as excellent – here are some of my favorites: Shea McCarthy has an excellent piece at Healthcare Lighthouse, explaining the SGR deal that overwhelmingly passed the […]

Health wonks in the melting snow

Brad Wright hosted the Health Wonk Review today at Wright on Health, and it’s an outstanding edition.  It also has a cheery series of pictures that beautifully illustrate the transition from winter to spring – nicely done Brad! There are so many great articles in this edition, it’s hard to pick a favorite.  But there are […]

No Tax Season Special Enrollment Period In Colorado

A few weeks ago, the federal government announced that people in the 37 states that use Healthcare.gov would have access to a tax season special enrollment period (SEP) if they were unaware of the ACA’s penalty for being uninsured, and found out about it at the time they filed their taxes – which could be up to […]

A Tenth Anniversary Health Wonk Review at Health Business Blog

Health Business Blog was one of the sites we used to read even before we started our own blog in 2006 – and we’ve been reading it ever since.  It’s turning ten this weekend (where does the time go?!) and to celebrate, David hosted the Health Wonk Review this week.   There are lots of great […]