Colorado: @C4HCO joins HC.gov; re-opens enrollment thru 5/15 via #COVID19 SEP

This was probably inevitable: via Connect for Health Colorado (email):

Colorado to Re-Open Enrollment for Individual Health Insurance 

DENVER – Today, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order that re-opens enrollment on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. While the order pertains to states that use the federal exchange, HC.gov, Colorado’s exchange, Connect for Health Colorado will mirror the order by re-opening enrollment.

Coloradans without health insurance will be able to enroll in coverage through C4HCO.com between Feb. 8 - May 15, 2021. Health insurance coverage will begin on the first day of the month following plan selection. This Special Enrollment period is for people who are without health insurance and begins a week earlier than the federal exchange.

The wording of this is important: This SEP is for uninsured residents specifically; presumably it is not open to those who are simply looking to switch from one ACA policy to another. My guess is there will be a checkbox or whatever for enrollees to attest that they do not currently have health insurance coverage.

In Colorado, the annual Open Enrollment for individual health insurance (meaning not from an employer) ended on January 15th. Connect for Health Colorado reported that nearly 180,000 Coloradans enrolled in 2021 coverage, which was around 8% higher than the enrollment figures for the previous year’s Open Enrollment. 

Re-opening the exchanges is an effort to address the number of uninsured, and in particular help people who have lost their employer-based health insurance due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway offered this statement in support of this effort. 

“I am encouraged to see President Biden and his administration take action on this front, acknowledging the fact that so many remain without health insurance due to the continued impact of COVID-19. The Division of Insurance will work with Connect for Health Colorado to make sure this additional enrollment period works to help Coloradans get covered.”   

Connect for Health Colorado’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson released the following statement in response to the Exchange reopening enrollment:

“I’m pleased that we can offer another opportunity to help people protect their health and safety this year. Now is a great time to remind friends and neighbors who missed the Open Enrollment deadline that it’s not too late to sign up and that help is available. I urge Coloradans who haven’t enrolled yet to call us or visit our website to find free enrollment assistance near you.”

Colorado individual health insurance consumers can enroll through Connect for Health Colorado online at C4HCO.com. Residents can get help by calling 855-752-6749 or find free, virtual enrollment assistance from certified Brokers and Assisters. In addition, Connect for Health Colorado offers tools such as the Quick Cost & Plan Finder that can help you check if you qualify for financial help and search for plans based on what matters most, including covered doctors, medications, monthly costs, and estimated annual costs. About 70% of people applying qualify for financial help. Enrolling through Connect for Health Colorado is the only way to receive financial help that can make health insurance more affordable.