Connect for Health Colorado and Colorado Medicaid Update

Ben Davis, ben@onsightpa.com, 303-522-6790 (Connect for Health Colorado)
Rachel Reiter, Rachel.Reiter@state.co.us, 303-866-3921 (Colorado Medicaid)

Updated: Jan. 3, 2014

DENVER, CO – Between October 1 and December 31, more than 138,000 Coloradans have signed up or been approved for health coverage that takes effect January 1, 2014 or later, according to data released today from Connect for Health Colorado and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

The first half of the open enrollment period saw a strong increase in the pace of enrollments as the December deadline approached for customers seeking health insurance coverage on January 1st of 2014. Connect for Health Colorado, working in partnership with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, extended the deadline from December 15th to December 27th to accommodate as many additional customers as possible.

The enrollment period for private health insurance continues until March 2014, with customers currently enrolling in plans with coverage starting February 1st.

“We made significant progress in the past three months as more than 52,000 Coloradans purchased private health insurance through our marketplace, man y getting coverage for the first time in years,” said Patty Fontneau, CEO of Connect for Health Colorado. “As the second half of the enrollment period gets underway, we are already hard at work reaching out to Coloradans statewide.”

The enrollment numbers for Connect for Health Colorado exceeded their own early conservative projections of approximately 37,000 enrollments by the December deadline by 16,000 additional lives covered.

The Medicaid expansion numbers announced today reflect individuals actually enrolled in the program.  Since Medicaid eligibility is determined on a monthly basis, the prior numbers reflected estimates of eligibility at a point in time.  Medicaid enrollments can and do change as individuals income or personal circumstances change.  Colorado Medicaid refers individuals who are over income for Medicaid directly to Connect for Health Colorado as these individuals could benefit from an advance premium tax credit or other financial assistance offered through the marketplace.

“The enrollments in Medicaid and Connect for Health Colorado show that Coloradans are becoming more aware of the importance of having health insurance coverage,” said Susan Birch, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “Whether Coloradans have health insurance coverage through private insurance or through Medicaid, health coverage is the first step to better health.  We will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure that Coloradans are connected with the coverage that is right for them.”

Metrics20140102_C

** More metrics information about Medicaid is available here and more metrics information about Connect for Health Colorado is available here.

Open enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado continues until March 31, 2014. The deadline to sign up for February 1, 2014, coverage is January 15, 2014. Medicaid does not have an open enrollment period.

Through state laws, Connect for Health Colorado was established as a non-profit entity with a Colorado mission. In addition, Colorado is expanding eligibility for Medicaid. Private health insurance purchased through Connect for Health Colorado’s competitive marketplace and the expanded eligibility for Medicaid both take effect starting January 1, 2014. Enhanced federal funding that is available starting January 1, 2014 will support the Medicaid expansion.

Connect for Health Colorado has been open since October 1 and operates with separate technology and customer service operations from the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov. Connect for Health Colorado is open to individuals, families and small businesses. Individuals and families can choose from up to 150 private health insurance plans from ten carriers and small employers can create small group plans from up to 92 health insurance plans provided by six carriers. The Customer Service Center is open from 7 am to 8 pm Mondays through Saturdays at 1-855-PLANS-4-YOU (855-752-6749). More information is available at www.ConnectforHealthCO.com.

Colorado Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) are public insurance programs for low income Coloradans.  The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing administers these programs.  Coloradans have multiple ways to apply for coverage, Colorado.gov/PEAK is the online application for public assistance programs including medical assistance.  For more information visit Colorado.gov/hcpf or visit Colorado.gov/health. The Medicaid Call Center (800-221-3943 for general questions and 800-359-1991 to check application status) are available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.

 

Key Dates

January 1, 2014 – Coverage begins for newly eligible Medicaid or private health insurance plans purchased through Connect for Health Colorado

January 10, 2014 – Deadline for Connect for Health Colorado customers to make first month’s premium payment for January 1, 2014 coverage

January 15, 2014 – Deadline to sign up for private health insurance that takes effect February 1, 2014

February 15, 2014 – Deadline to sign up for private health insurance that takes effect March 1, 2014

March 31, 2014* – Open enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado ends

 

*Medicaid does not have an open enrollment period.