The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is reminding those Coloradans who are in need of health coverage and who buy individual health insurance plans (meaning not from an employer) that now is the time to enroll in or renew coverage for 2020.
The annual open enrollment for the individual market runs from Nov. 1 – Jan. 15. If you do not get your coverage from an employer or from a government program such as Medicaid or Medicare, this is the only time of the year to sign up for health insurance, unless you have a major life event during the year like losing your job and your employer coverage, having a baby or getting married or divorced. However, to have coverage in place starting Jan. 1, enrollment must be completed by Dec. 15.
Jake Williams, Executive Director of Healthier Colorado, a policy and advocacy organization, said, “Open enrollment is a critical window for your health and finances that you don’t want to miss. It’s an opportunity to evaluate your coverage options so that you can get the insurance that best fits your life’s circumstances.”
The 2020 premiums have decreased all across the state and in all levels of plans – bronze, silver, and gold – thanks to the State’s Reinsurance Program. However, when it comes to health insurance, the DOI encourages people to take some time to evaluate their coverage options. Your current plan may not be the cheapest, so you will want to do some shopping to find savings.
In Summit County, Glenn Brady, a realtor and a single dad with three kids has been paying $1,800 a month for his family’s health insurance in 2019. But when he looked at what was available for the coming year, he was happily shocked to see his premium going down to $1,200 for 2020 due to the reinsurance program. Glenn says this $600 a month saving is significant for his family and will help pay for his kids’ tutoring and daycare. Glenn went on to say that the $7,000 he’ll see in savings in the coming year will mean a lot to his family.
“For 2020, premiums are coming down an average over 20% across the state, and many places in Colorado will see decreases around 30%,” said Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “But it’s still important for folks to take the time to shop to save as much as possible for a plan that works best for their health care needs. That’s especially true for Coloradans that receive subsidies from the federal government. On average, they can still save 15% next year, but they may need to switch to the lowest-cost plan in their metal level in order to achieve those savings”
Having health insurance is important in gaining access to health care services and maintaining one’s health. But it also helps to protect people financially, as the costs of health care services continue to climb.
Colorado individual health insurance consumers can enroll with insurance agents, directly with the insurance companies or through our state’s exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. Contact Connect at 855-752-6749 or find in-person assistance through their statewide network of certified experts at connectforhealthco.com/person-
If you or a family member needs help to determine what kind of questions to ask when considering health insurance, or you just want some assistance decoding the language of a health plan, contact the Division of Insurance Consumer Services: 303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us.