Colorado: C4HCO releases official OE6 enrollment report; 14% DROP in subsidized premium rates thanks to #SilverSwitcharoo!

Via Email from the Connect for Health Colorado exchange...

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

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.

Colorado was able to accomplish their 14% net premium drop for subsidized enrollees thanks to their jumping onboard the #SilverSwitcharoo train for 2019 (they were one of the few states which "Broad Loaded" CSR costs in 2018). Clearly going the Silver Switch route was a smart move this year.

The official premium disconnect between subsidized and unsubsidized enrollees is also interesting. The blended average (which also includes off-exchange unsubsidized enrollees) was $615 in 2018 and should have been roughly $649 this year. Based on the numbers in the press release, the actual 2019 blended average is around $621:

  • 75% x $661 = $496
  • 25% x $500 = $125
  • Total = $621

...however, again, that doesn't include off-exchange enrollees. Assuming off-exchange enrollees make up 25% of Colorado's total ACA-compliant market, they'd have to average around $730/month to hit $649 average. That's extremely unlikely, so the odds are that the actual average premium paid turned out to be lower. WIthout knowing how large Colorado's off-exchange market is or what they average, however, there's no way of knowing yet.

Anyway, the report itself includes a bunch of wonky info for healthcare data nerds; here's some of the more relevant stuff: