What You Need to Know About Open Enrollment

By Kevin Patterson
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado

On November 1, we launched our fifth Open Enrollment Period with encouraging call volume and traffic on our enrollment site. Open Enrollment is the only time each year when Coloradans who buy their own health coverage can renew or change their health insurance plan for the upcoming year unless they have a life-changing event.

What Coloradans Need to Know

Health insurance is complicated and with all the uncertainty this year, it’s important that Coloradans know:

  1. We are the only place Coloradans who qualify can get financial help to pay for their health insurance.
  2. Premiums have gone up, but so has the amount of financial help. Many will see the amount they pay — their net premium — actually go down in 2018.
  3. On average, our customers saved $369 each month on their health insurance this year. We also know that many people qualify and don’t know it! Don’t leave your hard-earned money on the table – it takes just a few minutes to check on our website.
  4. Contrary to what you may have heard, significant cost savings are still available for 2018.
  5. We have certified brokers and assisters right here to help you — at no additional cost! You can find them, and make an appointment.
  6. You need to enroll in a plan by December 15 to have coverage effective on January 1, 2018. In Colorado, Open Enrollment ends on January 12, 2018. Customers enrolling between December 16 and January 12 will have coverage that begins on February 1.

If anything has been constant in our organization’s history it is the inevitability of change, whether it’s in market dynamics, regulation, or the public policy environment. In the past, when confronted with change we thrived. Our ability to change course is best demonstrated by the following successes:

  • More than 93% of Coloradans have health insurance, the highest rate in the state’s history and one of the highest rates in the country.
  • Nearly 600,000 residents of the state have gained coverage since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
  • Bankruptcies tied to medical debt have dropped by more than 60 percent in four years.

Together with partners across Colorado, we’ve accomplished quite a bit since opening our Marketplace. Our message today is take the time to check the options available to you, check to see what financial help might be available to you and choose the health plan that best meets your needs and the needs of your family.