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.
Nearly 180,000 Coloradans Signed Up for Health Insurance through the Marketplace
DENVER – 179,661 Coloradans signed up for a health insurance plan by the end of the Open Enrollment period, according to preliminary data released today by Connect for Health Colorado®. This is about 8 percent above last year’s end of Open Enrollment total. 69% of the customers who enrolled in a 2021 plan qualified for financial help to reduce their monthly premium.
“I’m pleased that so many people took advantage of this year’s enrollment period,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “It’s essential that we all have health coverage in place to protect ourselves and our families this year.”
Outside of the Open Enrollment period, Coloradans can still sign up for a health insurance plan through the Marketplace if they experience a Qualified Life Event, like losing job-based insurance, losing Health First Colorado (Medicaid) coverage or due to certain family and income changes. Residents can continue to get help signing up for coverage from certified Brokers and community-based Assisters.
Colorado Sees 9% Increase in Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollments Ahead of Jan. 15 Deadline
DENVER — A year-over-year comparison shows Connect for Health Colorado enrollments are currently trending 9 percent higher. Nearly 172,000 people so far have signed up for a health insurance plan through the state’s official marketplace, surpassing last year’s Open Enrollment Period total of 166,850 sign ups.
Hmmm...172,000 is actually only 3.1% higher than 166,850, but I'm assuming they mean it's 9% higher than the number of 2020 enrollments as of January 6th. A 9% final increase would require a final 1/15 tally of around 181,866, so they'll need to tack on another 10,000 or so in the final 9 days.
But there is still time to enroll. With the Jan. 15, 2021 enrollment deadline approaching, Coloradans have just over a week left to choose a plan for coverage that will start Feb. 1.
DENVER – Connect for Health Colorado®, the official health insurance marketplace for Coloradans, has formally launched a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC).
The PBC will offer health care ancillary products and services across the state as well as work to increase Coloradans’ health literacy.
This new organization will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Connect for Health Colorado and will be a separate entity from Connect for Health Colorado. It will not affect residents’ ability to buy Qualified Health Plans and apply for financial help through our Marketplace.
On the surface, the purpose of this PBC seems a bit vague...it sounds like it has something to do with the ACA Navigator program to help people shop for insurance on the exchange, to help them enroll in Medicaid and so forth...and those may still be part of its mission.
Connect for Health Colorado Offers Coloradans Through Dec. 18 to Enroll in Health Insurance Starting Jan. 1
DENVER — To help as many people as possible sign up for health insurance that begins on the first day of 2021, Connect for Health Colorado has decided to extend the deadline for January 1 coverage to this Friday, Dec. 18.
“Too many Coloradans have been left unemployed, uninsured and are struggling to get by as the pandemic grows,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “By giving people a few extra days this week to get the coverage they need right on January 1st, we can ease some of the strain people are feeling. Financial help is available to reduce costs and local experts can also provide free enrollment assistance.”
Marketplace Enrollments Trending Higher During Pandemic; Deadline for Jan. 1 Coverage Approaches
DENVER – Through Dec. 6, more than 148,000 Coloradans have signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado. Initial enrollment totals show that more Coloradans are getting covered this Open Enrollment Period as the pandemic grows in Colorado.
“I’m encouraged that so many people have signed up for a medical plan that will give them the coverage they need. I hope this also gives them some peace of mind going into the new year,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “I urge Coloradans who haven’t enrolled yet to take advantage of the free enrollment assistance we offer. We’re here to help as many Coloradans as possible get covered for January 1st.”
Coloradans Are Getting Covered During the Pandemic
DENVER – Nearly 30,500 Coloradans signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado’s Marketplace between Nov. 1 and Nov. 20. Through the first three weeks of the Open Enrollment period, approximately 73 percent of applicants qualify for financial help to help pay their monthly premiums.
Unlike many of the state-based exchanges, the Colorado ACA exchange is not "front-loading" their autorenewals of existing enrollees. They address this further down the press release:
“Unfortunately, the pandemic is continuing to grow and affect our communities. That’s why it’s more important than ever that Coloradans have access to affordable and quality health coverage.” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “I urge Coloradans to connect with us online, over the phone, or by making a virtual appointment with a certified Broker or Assister. We are here to make your enrollment as easy as possible.”
As I noted the other day, some of my blog posts don't have any insight to add, they're purely for aggregating data points. This is one of those posts.
Here's the Connect for Health Colorado May enrollment dashboard report. It doesn't provide much detail, and it's kind of fuzzy/hard to read, but I do like the way it shows both QHP selections (that is, how many people selected exchange policies) as well as effectuated enrollments from month to month.
Remember, around 10% of those who select plans never end up actually paying the first month's premium, and are thus never actually enrolled...and there's some amount of churn after that as people drop their coverage mid-year and new people enroll via Special Enrollment Periods. Then the whole process starts over again the following January.
As a result, you see a gradual divergence between QHP selections increasing and effectuated enrollments decreasing throughout the year...only to reset in January of the next year.
DENVER – Coloradans shopping for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado can now preview health plans and estimate costs on their mobile devices and tablets using the award-winning Quick Cost and Plan Finder tool.
Connect for Health Colorado has optimized the tool for mobile browsing of health insurance plans as part of its technology modernization effort, which includes a suite of tools such as live chat and scheduling a call. Development is also underway to optimize the complete application for mobile devices. Making the technology consistently mobile provides a smoother user experience and supports customers who do not have immediate access to traditional desktops and laptops.