Colorado: OmniSalud program will provide $0 premium health plans to 11,000 undocumented immigrants & DACA recipients

via the Colorado Dept. of Regulatory Agencies (DORA):

OmniSalud program will provide $0 premium health plans to 11,000 qualified individuals.

DENVER - The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), is pleased to announce that for 2024, it will increase the availability of financial assistance for health insurance in the OmniSalud program to 11,000 individuals. This a 10 percent increase from 10,000 individuals in 2023. 

OmniSalud allows Coloradans without documentation (including DACA recipients) and who are ineligible for federal subsidies for health insurance, to get health insurance that meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Those who qualify can receive financial help, called SilverEnhanced Savings, to make that insurance more affordable. The OmniSalud program is offered through Colorado Connect, Connect for Health Colorado’s public benefit corporation and online enrollment platform. 

“Providing assistance to 11,000 people means that not only are we helping 1,000 more people than last year afford health insurance,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “It means that we are helping more people get health care for unexpected emergencies, helping more parents get their children regular check-ups and vaccinations, and letting more people access necessary preventive care, while managing chronic conditions. It’s a positive change for individuals, our communities and our state.”

“I’m elated by the additional financial help we can offer this year. We saw an astounding response to the OmniSalud program when it launched last year, and we’re truly grateful that we can continue to strengthen this innovative program,” said Connect for Health Colorado’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “For those who are interested in enrolling in the OmniSalud program, I urge that you make an appointment with an enrollment expert as early as possible in the Open Enrollment Period. We have Brokers and Assisters who are ready to advise you and address any concerns and questions you may have.”

Financial Assistance for OmniSalud Enrollees
This financial assistance, provided through the DOI’s Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise (HIAE), lowers health insurance premiums for qualifying individuals in the OmniSalud program to $0 per month. These plans, specifically the SilverEnhanced Savings Colorado Option plans, also significantly lower out-of-pocket costs for medical expenses, covering 94% of these costs. To qualify for financial assistance, people must earn less than 150% (or 1.5x) the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) - that’s less than $21,870 per year for an individual, and less than $45,000 per year for a family of four - and be ineligible for any federal assistance for health coverage. 

How to Enroll in OmniSalud
The OmniSalud program is offered on Colorado Connect, a platform developed by Connect for Health Colorado. Colorado Connect is a safe way to shop, get financial help (if eligible) and enroll in health coverage. When an individual applies, they’ll start at Connect for Health Colorado’s website. If they choose to share information only with Colorado Connect, they will be directed to create an account with Colorado Connect on a separate application and enrollment site. 

People who are interested in enrolling in the OmniSalud program are strongly encouraged to contact a certified Broker or enrollment Assister. Find help by visiting the OmniSalud Help site. 

For questions or assistance, people can also contact Colorado Connect’s Customer Service Center at 855-675-2626.

What Current OmniSalud Enrollees Need to Know

  • Open Enrollment for 2024 health coverage will start on November 1, 2023.
  • Colorado Connect will not automatically renew health insurance plans for 2023 OmniSalud enrollees. This means that existing OmniSalud participants must log in to their Colorado Connect account when Open Enrollment begins and actively choose a plan for 2024 if they want to stay covered. In addition, applicants should review and update household and income information as needed, to determine eligibility for financial assistance.
  • The financial assistance available for 11,000 individuals will again be on a first-come, first-served basis. Colorado Connect expects the 11,000 spots for financial help will be taken early, as last year the 10,000 limit was reached by December 6, even though the Open Enrollment period lasted until January 15. Qualified individuals will still be able to enroll in coverage through Colorado Connect after the 11,000 limit has been reached, however they won’t receive financial assistance.  

Increased Pass-Through Funding 
Bumping up the number of individuals that can receive this assistance to 11,000 is possible because of the increase in federal 1332 waiver pass-through funds the DOI received for its reinsurance and Colorado Option programs for 2023, which was $245 million. This was the largest amount of pass-through funding the DOI has received. Pass-through funding is the result of money Colorado saves the federal government from spending on health insurance subsidies for the ACA. Rather than the federal government keeping the savings, the savings are passed back to the State of Colorado and applied to programs to make health insurance more affordable and accessible.