Colorado Health Care Exchange = Connect for Health Colorado CEO’s Update

Connect for Health Colorado CEO’s Update on Health Plan Prices and Competition
Patty Fontneau, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Connect for Health Colorado (Colorado’s Health Care Exchange created by Federal Law under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).
I wanted to provide an update in response to questions we received about how much health plans will cost when our health insurance marketplace opens in October. The Division of Insurance posted information about preliminary filings and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative conducted an analysis of those filings. We’re also analyzing the preliminary filings and are encouraged to see a broad range of costs. These monthly costs will be further lowered for many Coloradans by new financial assistance (tax credits) available only through Connect for Health Colorado.
Preliminary filings from health insurance carriers show that monthly premiums for a 21-year-old living in Denver from the majority of carriers will range from $146 to $234 for bronze plans and from $192 to $279 for silver plans, before cost-reductions based on income. Monthly premiums for a 40-year-old living in Denver from the majority of carriers will range from $186 to $299 for bronze plans and from $245 to $357 for silver plans. Bronze plans are the group of health plans for which the carrier will, on average, cover about 60 percent of health care costs and the consumer will pay for about 40 percent of costs. With silver plans the customer will pay less of the average overall health care costs (closer to 30%), but will pay more each month in premium. Connect for Health Colorado also expects to offer health plans at lower and higher costs and with other cost-sharing levels. The health plans are new and include a comprehensive set of benefits, including doctor visits, hospitalizations, maternity care, emergency room care and prescriptions.
We’re also seeing strong competition among carriers. Preliminary filings show that 10 carriers requested approval to provide about 150 health plans for individuals and families through Connect for Health Colorado. They include All Savers Insurance Company (part of UnitedHealthcare), Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna, Colorado Choice, Colorado HealthOP, Denver Health, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, New Health Ventures and Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Six carriers – Anthem, Colorado Choice, Colorado HealthOP, Kaiser Permanente, Rocky Mountain Health Plans and See Change – requested approval to provide nearly 100 health plans to small employers through our marketplace.
What we’re seeing so far is good news for Colorado consumers. Starting in October, they will be able shop through Connect for Health Colorado and choose from many health insurance carriers at competitive rates. Nearly a half-million Coloradans will be eligible for further cost reductions to make health insurance more affordable.
Please keep in mind that all of this information is preliminary and may change based on review by the Colorado Division of Insurance. The Division of Insurance regulates insurance companies in the state and has started their standard review of the carrier filings. The review and final determination of plans and rates is expected to be completed in late July. Final details about premiums and the types and number of health plans will be known after that. We’ll continue to keep you updated.

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