Customers Receiving Financial Help Through Connect for Health Colorado® Seeing a 14% Drop in Net Monthly Premium Cost

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

DENVER – Coloradans who get financial help buying health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado®  are paying an average  14 percent less in “net premium” – what they pay after assistance – compared to the average net premium in 2018, according to data released today.

Three of every four current Connect for Health Colorado customers qualify for financial help to reduce the monthly cost of health insurance. The average net premium for those Coloradans is $117 per month, down from $136 per month last year.

“We are happy that we are able to make health insurance affordable for so many people,” said Kevin Patterson, Chief Executive Office of Connect for Health Colorado. “The number of our customers receiving help rose this year by seven percentage points, to 76 percent, an important increase. We know we have more work to do, and are committed to expanding our impact as we work with policy makers, our stakeholders and our customers throughout the state.”

The data are from the 2019 Open Enrollment Report released today, which gives a detailed look at the two-and-a-half-month Open Enrollment period that ended on Jan. 15. More than 170,000 Coloradans signed up for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance Marketplace, during that period.

The more than 129,000 customers who are receiving financial help are getting, on average, a discount of more than 80 percent on the cost of the plans they chose, which average $661 a month. Customers not getting financial help are paying an average $500 per month for their coverage.

About Connect for Health Colorado

Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established by the Colorado General Assembly in 2011 to create a health insurance Marketplace.  Since 2013, we’ve been helping individuals, families and small employers compare plans, apply for financial help and buy health insurance. As Colorado’s official health insurance marketplace, we are the only place to apply for financial help to lower the monthly cost of premiums. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access expert, in-person help from a statewide network of certified Brokers and community-based Assisters. For more information:  ConnectforHealthCO.com

Request for Proposal: Call Center Services

Connect for Health Colorado is soliciting responses from qualified entities that are able to provide call center services. Interested parties can find the Request for Proposal through BidNet Direct, a part of the Rocky Mountain Purchasing System.

The Request for Proposal provides additional details and instructions on how to respond.

As a vendor, you must register with the Rocky Mountain Purchasing System to see all available bids and opportunities. If you need help registering, please call Rocky Mountain Purchasing System support at 800-835-4603; option #2.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Connect for Health Colorado® Sees Increase in Number of Coloradans Receiving Financial Help in Sixth Open Enrollment Period

Contact: Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

DENVER – More than 169,000 Coloradans selected health coverage for 2019 through the state health insurance Marketplace by the close of Open Enrollment Tuesday, an increase of 2 percent over the previous Open Enrollment period, according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado®, and the number getting financial help buying insurance grew sharply.

More than three of every four people—77 percent – who chose health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado qualified to receive financial help to reduce their monthly premium. That is up from 69 percent in 2018 and 61 percent in 2017.

“I am happy to see the increase in the number of Colorado families who find the protection to their health and personal finances through us,” said Connect for Health Colorado CEO Kevin Patterson. “It is very good news that so many Coloradans are getting financial help to reduce their monthly costs. We know that the price of health insurance remains a challenge for too many families and individuals in our state, particularly outside the Front Range. But we are encouraged to see more are taking our advice to see what help they can get when they buy through us.”

By the close of this year’s Open Enrollment, Coloradans had selected 169,672 medical insurance plans, which compares to 165,777 medical plan selections for the 2018 Open Enrollment period.

Among the 2019 plan selections, 21 percent are by customers who are new to Connect for Health Colorado and 79 percent are renewing customers.

Until the next Open Enrollment period, which will begin November 1, 2019, individual enrollments will be limited to Coloradans who experience at least one “qualifying life change event,” such as marriage, divorce, having a child, losing their employer-sponsored insurance.

View the county-level plan selection totals.

Connect for Health Colorado® Reaches Out to Small Businesses with Health Insurance Solutions for Employees

Contact: Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

DENVER – Connect for Health Colorado® is reaching out to partner with small employers across Colorado to help provide affordable comprehensive health insurance to their workers, recognizing many small businesses are unable to provide traditional employer-sponsored healthcare coverage.

“Workers making $20 an hour can qualify for substantial help buying health insurance through us, often reducing monthly premiums to around $100 a month or less,” said Connect for Health Colorado CEO Kevin Patterson. “We can help employers get their workers covered at an affordable rate and we can relieve them of the administrative burden while protecting the health and finances of their staff.”

Connect for Health Colorado recently rolled out a Small Business Coverage Page aimed at the needs of businesses with 10 or fewer employees. There are no employer contribution requirements.

In its pitch to business owners, Connect for Health Colorado offers:

  • Multiple health plan choices
  • Easier administration of health coverage
  • Lower premiums

To take advantage in 2019, workers will need to complete their 2019 health insurance enrollment by Tuesday,  January 15.

“It is not too late. I urge anyone in Colorado who does not yet have their 2019 health insurance in place to act now. We are here to help,” Patterson said.

After January 15, individuals and families can buy coverage on their own only if they experience a life change event such as such as marriage, divorce, having a child, losing employer-sponsored insurance, or moving to Colorado.

(Kevin Patterson will join Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver Health Medical Plan executives for a press conference in Denver Friday at 10 a.m. at 301 W. Sixth Ave., Suite 3, Pavilion G)

Rural Counties Lead Connect for Health Colorado® 2019 Health Coverage Sign Ups; Many Have Already Passed 2018 Totals

Contact: Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

DENVER – Rural counties are leading the way in Connect for Health Colorado® sign ups as the state health insurance marketplace heads to the last week of the 2019 Open Enrollment period.

Overall, 2019 health plan selections through Connect for Health Colorado are running about 3 percent ahead of the comparable period a year ago but many rural counties have already exceeded the number of plan selections made in the entire two-and-a-half-month Open Enrollment period in 2018.

By January 3, 2019, 30 of the state’s 64 counties had matched or exceeded the number of plan selections made during all of last year’s Open Enrollment. This year’s Open Enrollment runs through January 15.

Among those 30 leading counties, only two – El Paso County at 102 percent and Adams County at 101 percent  of the 2018 total — are among the 10 urban Front Range counties. Nine rural counties were at 110 percent or more of the 2018 Open Enrollment figure as of January 3. They are: Kiowa, San Juan, Custer, Bent, Rio Grande, Las Animas, Mineral, Huerfano and Cheyenne.

“We know that our customers in rural counties face some of the highest costs and we are glad to see the number of residents of those areas who are able to protect their health and family finances by working with us,” said Connect for Health Colorado CEO Kevin Patterson. “Coloradans in every county have only one more week to buy their own health insurance. I urge them to go to ConnectforHealthCO.com now to see the savings opportunity available before it’s too late. This is the time for the many workers whose employers aren’t able to provide health insurance to act now to get their coverage in place for 2019. We are here to help.”

After January 15, individuals and families can buy coverage on their own only if they experience a life change event such as such as marriage, divorce, having a child, losing employer-sponsored insurance, or moving to Colorado.

For purposes of this analysis, “urban counties” refers to the 10 counties classified as urban by the Colorado Rural Development Council and “rural counties” refers to the 54 that organization classified as “rural” or “ag-urban.” Read the full list of county plan selection totals.

Connect for Health Colorado® Reports 5% Increase in Healthcare Plan Selections for 2019; Open Enrollment Continues Four Weeks

Contact: Luke Clarke, 720-496-2545
[email protected]

DENVER — More than 156,000 Coloradans selected healthcare coverage for 2019 through the state health insurance Marketplace through December 15, 2018, a rate 5 percent ahead of signups one year ago, according to new data released today by Connect for Health Colorado®.

“I am happy with the pace of sign-ups for health insurance plans that take effect January 1,” said Connect for Health Colorado CEO Kevin Patterson.  “But we are still enrolling Coloradans who buy their own health insurance and will continue through January 15. For anyone who does not yet have coverage in place, it’s time to go to our site and pick your coverage for next year. In four weeks, the door closes for buying your 2019 health plan.”

Coloradans have selected 156,101 medical insurance plans through the December 15 deadline. The total was 149,006 for the comparable period in 2017. Seventeen percent of the medical plan selections are by customers who are new to Connect for Health Colorado and 83 percent are renewing customers.

Connect for Health Colorado opened for business November 1 with rate increases lower than the state has seen in years, a streamlined application process that will save Coloradans time obtaining financial assistance and all seven health insurance companies returning to the individual market in 2019.

While many states have concluded their Open Enrollment periods, Open Enrollment in Colorado runs to January 15, 2019, for insurance that will take effect February 1, 2019.

“As a state-based health insurance marketplace, we are able to adjust our operations to best meet the needs of the residents of our state,” Patterson said. “This year, that has meant introducing a streamlined process for obtaining financial help, improving our online tool for choosing a health plan and extending the enrollment period beyond the holidays.”

Connect for Health Colorado® Reports Increase in 2019 Medical Plan Selections

Contact: Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

DENVER — More than 46,000 Coloradans selected health coverage through Connect for Health Colorado® during November, a number 6 percent ahead of the pace one year ago, according to new data released today.

“We started with a strong month but there are now only 12 days left to get coverage in place for Jan. 1,” said Connect for Health Colorado® CEO Kevin Patterson. “It is time for Coloradans who buy their own health insurance to act to protect their health and their family finances.”

During November, Connect for Health Colorado customers made 46,332 medical plan selections. The total was 43,881 medical plan selections for the comparable period in 2017. Fifteen percent of the plan selections are by customers who are new to Connect for Health Colorado and 85 percent are renewing customers.

Connect for Health Colorado opened for business Nov. 1 with rate increases lower than the state has seen in years, a streamlined application process that will save Coloradans time obtaining financial assistance and all seven health insurance companies returning to the individual market in 2019.

“We have a statewide network of 1,000 Brokers and Assisters who can help with these important decisions,” Patterson said. “I urge anyone in Colorado who buys their own health insurance to go now to ConnectforHealthCO.com to see what financial help they can get. Many are pleasantly surprised with what they find.”

More than 130,000 Coloradans got help paying for health insurance in 2018. Renewing customers qualifying for financial help will see their net premium – their cost after the Advance Premium Tax Credit – go down 24%, on average, in 2019.

Analysis shows that three out of four of Connect for Health Colorado customers who bought their health insurance with financial help will have an option for health insurance with a net premium (after financial help) less than $50 per month in 2019.

Open Enrollment runs from November 1, 2018, to January 15, 2019, but consumers need to enroll by December 15 to have coverage in place by January 1, 2019.

A Message of Gratitude

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

We are just a few weeks into our Open Enrollment Period and we have reason to be optimistic.

We reported Friday that we have seen 25,614 medical plan submissions through Nov. 15, our fastest start ever and a 13 percent increase over last year’s pace in the comparable period.

At the same time, we have been working hard to address call hold times at our Customer Service Center. After adding staff and making adjustments to the call technology, as of Friday, we’ve reduced average hold times to less than two minutes.

Our Customer Service Center will be closed Thursday so that our staff can celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. They will be working normal hours, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Wednesday and Friday.

We appreciate all that you do to support our work and hope that you will have time with friends and family over the holiday.

Take care,

Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado

Softheon Decision Support in Colorado Brings Consumers an Enhanced Enrollment Experience

Since the updated platform launch, two million people have visited the Colorado marketplace site

For media inquiries, contact: [email protected]

STONY BROOK, N.Y.  – Connect for Health Colorado®, the state’s health insurance exchange, today announced it has partnered with Softheon, a national leader in cloud-based health insurance exchange integration and services, to enhance its existing enrollment platform with intuitive guided shopping powered by decision support. Coloradans are actively using this updated platform to select new plans during the 2019 Open Enrollment.

In addition to giving users an elevated shopping experience, this technology, built with Angular 6 and hosted on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, allows for greater accuracy of provider and pharmacy networks, and advanced reporting. The Connect for Health Colorado portal now uses state-of-the-art algorithms to pull more accurate estimates for monthly and yearly total out-of-pocket costs, allowing users to better budget.

“We are honored to partner with Connect for Health Colorado® to bring affordable, accessible, and plentiful healthcare to people across the state,” said Eugene Sayan, CEO & Founder of Softheon. “Our focus on machine learning allows Softheon to provide the best possible shopping experience for our users and ensure that everyone ends up with the plan that is truly best to suit their needs.”

The platform walks members through a series of questions about themselves, their financial status, typical coverage needs, doctor preferences, and necessary prescriptions. Based on these answers, the plan options are tailored to best meet the member’s unique needs.

“Our Quick Cost and Plan Finder Tool is the only place where Coloradans can go to easily compare their health insurance options side-by-side and get an estimate of what financial help they can get,” said Connect for Health Colorado Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “We are committed to providing the best possible customer experience with this technology.”

Connect for Health Colorado noted that Softheon was able to provide outstanding job training and outline a clear understanding of the work progress. Because Softheon leveraged the cloud to automatically scale to fit our product’s demands, Connect for Health Colorado did not have to continually pay for extra space. After communicating all risks and milestones, Softheon was able to meet all deadlines and was quick to resolve any issues that arose.

Since implementation, Colorado has seen more than 2 million people use their platform to shop. Going forward, Softheon will also be working with Connect for Health Colorado to implement mobile functionality and Spanish translation to further enhance the users’ shopping experience.

To learn more about Softheon, visit Softheon.com. To learn more about Connect for Health Colorado, visit connectforhealthco.com.

About Softheon

Softheon’s mission is to make healthcare affordable, accessible, and plentiful. Softheon’s cloud-based Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) and Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) solutions for federal and state governments have solved complex challenges that are associated with administering public health insurance exchanges. Softheon solutions work to transform the way agencies operate by delivering unparalleled healthcare capabilities including but not limited to: Individual and SHOP Marketplaces, Special Enrollment Period (SEP) verification, Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) validation, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Validation, Electronic and Paper-based Payment Processing, Carrier Reconciliation Facilitation, and Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) Population Analytics.

In 2018, Softheon was ranked the 23rd fastest growing company in the United States on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500.

Two Members Named to Connect for Health Colorado® Board of Directors

Contact:  Luke Clarke 720-496-2545

DENVER – Gov. Hickenlooper has named two health policy leaders to vacancies on the Connect for Health Colorado® Board of Directors

Lorez Meinhold, Senior Policy Director at the Keystone Policy Center, was newly named to the board, and David Padrino, the Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor and the state’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer, was re-appointed to a board seat he has held previously.

Ms. Meinhold, whose more than 17 years of healthcare policy experience includes service as Senior Policy Director for two Colorado governors, has worked at the local, state and national level on numerous healthcare policy initiatives. She served as Deputy Director for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and as Senior Program Officer for the Colorado Health Foundation, and founded a non-profit, in addition to senior policy positions with governors Bill Ritter and John Hickenlooper.

Mr. Padrino, who also serves as Chair of the Colorado Benefit Management System (CBMS) executive steering committee, was appointed to an ex-officio, non-voting seat on the Connect for Health Colorado Board that he held from 2014-2016.

“We’re excited to welcome these two distinguished and immensely qualified members to our Board,” said Board Chair Adela Flores-Brennan. “They bring broad experience in Colorado healthcare policy. Their insights will be critical as we move forward on our mission to increase access, affordability and choice to individuals and families buying health insurance in Colorado.”

The appointments fill vacancies created by the earlier departures of Davis Fansler and Kyle Brown. The Connect for Health Colorado Board has nine voting members and three ex-officio members.