Colorado is a popular state of the U.S. that is known for its gorgeous mountain scenery and world-class skiing facilities. It is a state where half of its residents get health coverage through their employers. There is not a huge percentage of the uninsured, as only 8% of the state population is uninsured. If you are one of the uninsured residents of Colorado, then you don’t need to worry as plenty of health insurance options are available in the state. No one likes to get sick but health issues can occur to anyone and people may need medical care at some point in their lives. To protect yourself from the high medical expenses, you can shop for the best health insurance coverage in Colorado that will help you get and stay healthy by covering some preventive and wellness services.
The healthcare laws of the state allow you to access the health insurance you require. A good number of the residents of Colorado qualify for health insurance coverage through Health First Colorado, which is the state’s Medicaid Program. You may also qualify to have access to financial assistance to buy a private health plan through the Connect for Health Colorado marketplace. Due to these changes in the Colorado health insurance landscape, it has become easier for you to have health insurance coverage as per your needs and budget.
2021 Open Enrollment Period in Colorado
If you are looking to sign up for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado, you can sign during the 2021 open enrollment period. The 2021 open enrollment period in Colorado started from November 1, 2020, and runs through January 15, 2021. Outside this open enrollment period, you will only be able to sign up for a health plan if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Otherwise, you will have to wait for the next year’s open enrollment period.
Colorado’s Health Insurance Marketplace
Colorado uses a state-run health insurance marketplace called Connect for Health Colorado. It is one of the three exchanges in the U.S. that has a permanently extended open enrollment period. You can use the state marketplace of Colorado if you need to purchase health coverage for yourself and your families.
Cost of Health Insurance Plans in Colorado
Starting in 2020, Colorado has implemented a reinsurance program using 1332 waivers to obtain federal pass-through funding for reinsurance under which it pays a larger portion of claims in areas having the highest health insurance premiums. This is an effort made to make health coverage more affordable in those areas by reducing unsubsidized health insurance premiums and to stabilize the state individual market. The health insurance price dropped in 2020 and so the cost of the lowest silver plan cost $353 per month in 2020 that was $475 per month in 2019. Even for the 2021 plan year, the state has approved a drop of 1.42% in premiums for the average unsubsidized premium, which is $7 less a month. The average premium for each metal-tier of health plan in Colorado for the year 2018 to 2020 are:
|Metal-Tier of Plan||Lowest Plan Price in 2018||Lowest Plan Price in 2019||Lowest Plan Price in 2020|
Individual Health Insurance Options Under the Affordable Care Act
If you are not receiving health insurance through an employer, then you have the option to get health insurance through Connect, which is Colorado’s version of healthcare.gov. You can find different metal-tiers of plans like Bronze, Silver, and Platinum health plans providing coverage for preventive services like doctor visits, hospitalizations, and mental health care.
If you are a low-income individual residing in Colorado, then you can apply for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado. You may qualify for subsidies that will make health insurance more affordable for you. A good number of Coloradans receive the tax credit that considerably reduces their monthly premium.
If you are self-employed, then also you should sign for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado. Even if you have a pre-existing condition, you can obtain a health plan and may even be eligible for a subsidy that will reduce your monthly premiums.
If you are unemployed, then you have two options to obtain health insurance. You can either maintain your previous employer’s health insurance plan through the COBRA through which you can keep your coverage for up to 18 months. Though you may be responsible to pay 100% of the plan’s premium that may turn out to be expensive.
Another way of obtaining health coverage if you are unemployed and have extremely low-income, then you may qualify for Health First Colorado, a Medicaid program of the state, which will allow you have free or low-cost coverage and get dental care, preventive care, emergency services, prescription coverage and more.
Another low-cost health insurance option in Colorado is the Child Health Plan Plus, a program designed for some children and pregnant women. If you are unable to qualify for Health First Colorado, and can’t afford private health insurance, then the Child Health Plan Plus can be a useful alternative.
Where do residents of Colorado get their health Insurance coverage?
More than half of Colorado residents have access to health insurance through their employers, and a good percentage of residents are covered under Medicaid. The table below depicts the source from where the percentage of Colorado residents get health coverage.
|Source of Health Coverage||Percentage|
|Individual or Family||7.00%|
Insurance Companies offering Health Plans in 2021 in Colorado
Eight health insurance companies are offering health plans in 2021 in Colorado that provide health plans through the state exchange in Colorado:
- Bright Health
- Denver Health Medical Plan
- Oscar Health Plan
- Friday Health Plans
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Rocky Mountain Health Plans