Colorado’s state healthcare exchange, Connect for Health Colorado’s Open Enrollment for 2020 health plans begins on November 1. This is the only time throughout the year (unless you have a qualified life event) when you can change your health insurance coverage.
This year, more than ever, it will pay to shop! With the introduction of a reinsurance program (which helps insurers with their most costly claims), the average individual health insurance premium in 2020 is estimated to be about 20.2 percent lower. That savings is before the financial help that 77 percent of participants get in an advance tax credit to lower monthly payments.
The tax credit is based on the price of the benchmark plan in your home region, which means the tax credit will most likely decrease with decreasing rates. As a result, customers who qualify for financial help should check all plan options available in 2020 to best take advantage of savings.
While you need to wait until November 1 to enroll in a 2020 plan, you can get a jump on the process. The Connect for Health Colorado website has been retooled to make it easier than ever to find what you need to enroll in health insurance, get financial help, find answers about health insurance and connect to in-person enrollment help. It is also easier to use from a phone or tablet. Now is the time to log-in and take a look around the site so you’re ready to enroll on November 1.
- “Returning Customers” helps you know when you need to sign into your account to update your information including when your income changes.
- The “Financial Help” section provides an overview of the types of financial help you can get through the Marketplace, as well as how the advanced premium tax credits works.
- The “Find Answers” section provides you with information to help you make an informed decision about buying and using health insurance. The updated “Before You Buy” page gives information about the choices you will make when choosing a plan.
- The “We Can Help” section provides you with several methods to get advice from or enroll with a certified enrollment expert. You can also find out how to get in touch with the customer service center support.
To avoid any gap in coverage, participants must enroll in their 2020 plan by December 15th, the deadline to sign up for coverage that begins on January 1. Plans selected between December 16th and the end of Open Enrollment on January 15th, 2020 will not be effective until February 1st, 2020.
Local assistance available
During the open enrollment period, Grand County Rural Health Network’s Certified Health Coverage Guide, Kim Long, offers one-on-one enrollment assistance by appointment, generally between noon – 5 pm. On Tuesdays, he will alternate between Middle Park Health in Walden or Kremmling; Wednesdays he’ll be at the Fraser Valley Library; Thursdays at the Granby Library; and, Saturdays at Middle Park Health in Granby. “You and your family members need health insurance. We can help you make sense of it,” said Long. To schedule an appointment, call (970) 531-4769.
To learn more about Colorado’s state healthcare exchange, visit connectforhealthco.com or call (855) 752-6749.