Colorado: Final 2019 Open Enrollment Total: Nearly 170K QHPs, new record for 5th straight year!

This just in from Connect for Health Colorado...

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

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.

About 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.

The main reason for this is that Colorado joined most other states in upgrading their Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) cost loading strategy from "broad loading" to the full "silver switcharoo" format, which beefed up APTC subsidies significantly for thousands of eligible enrollees.

“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.

Hmmm...I'll have to look into these numbers a bit further. Colorado's 2018 Open Enrollment total was indeed 165,777 according to C4HCO...but according to CMS's official report it was only 161,764 QHP selections. This is the same thing which happened last year, when C4HCO reported 172,361 QHPs vs. CMS's 161,568. It's therefore possible that the final/official 2019 CMS report will put Colorado's total around 4,000 enrollees lower than my own numbers.

However, either way, Colorado joins Massachusetts in increasing their ACA open enrollment numbers every year for five years straight, bucking the national trend!

It's also worth noting that Colorado's final total may still increase by a few hundred more (?) due to their "in line by midnight" policy announced yesterday.

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