Now that the weather is improving [ ]. To Our Valued Stakeholders, As much of the work is just beginning on the healthcare bills that were passed this legislative session, I [ ]. To Our Valued Stakeholders, As I shared with you back in March, we are continually looking to modernize our technology to make things [ ]. Connect for Health Colorado is soliciting responses from qualified entities that are able to provide information technology and [ ]. To Our Valued Stakeholders, Whew!
But those rate filings were based on the assumption that funding for cost-sharing reductions would continue in The Division of Insurance noted in September that they had backup rates that would be used if CSR funding were to be eliminated.
DENVER (Oct. 4, ) The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the In the small group market (health plans for small employers with two to Plan selections for insurance on Connect for Health Colorado are up modestly so far, and Colorado's control of its health insurance exchange. Further, no carriers are dropping out of the Colorado market, and together market plans on Connect for Health Colorado, the state's online exchange. in Colorado should be taken as good news for a market that has.
As a result, the backup rates were implemented in Colorado. The Division of Insurance noted that the overall average rates would increase by 6 percentage points over the already-approved rates. Ultimately, the average rate increase in Colorado was Colorado was one of only four states where the cost of CSR was added to plans at all metal levels, rather than being concentrated only on plans at the silver metal level.How to save despite rising health insurance rates
The individual mandate has been repealed altogether as ofbut is still in place in The rates that were approved in September were based on the assumption that cost-sharing reduction CSR payments would continue to be made to insurers. They indicated that they would only implement the backup rates if CSR funding were to be definitively cut off as opposed to just ongoing uncertainty, which had already triggered many states to have insurers add the cost of CSR to their premiums.
But unlike other states where insurers have loaded the additional premiums only on silver plansColorado insurers were instructed to submit supplemental filings that spread the cost of CSR across plans at all metal levels. The largest additional average increase that any Colorado insurer filed was 14 percent; the other filings were for smaller average increases, with an average of 6. Hence, the backup plan included adding the cost of CSR to premiums for plans at all metal levels.
As a result, the Colorado Division of Insurance implemented the backup rates and Connect for Health Colorado began the process of loading the new rates into their system. And CSR plans continue to be available to eligible enrollees, as is the case nationwide.
For people who get premium subsidies, the subsidies grew in to offset all or most of the additional premium increase necessary to cover the cost of CSR. In Colorado, 35 percent of enrollees did not receive a premium subsidy inas opposed to only 16 percent nationwide. However, formore people in Colorado are receiving premium subsidies.
Her pleas were echoed by Connect for Health Colorado in a joint letter signed by most of the state-run exchanges and then-Governor Hickenlooper in a bipartisan letter written by several governors. A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of proposed rates finds that for a year-old non-smoker, the second-lowest-cost silver plan in the Denver area is 12 percent more expensive in before any premium subsidies are applied than it was in This analysis is useful in terms of projecting how much premium subsidies will change for the coming year, since the subsidies are designed to keep pace with the cost of the second-lowest-cost silver plan.
This is because the poverty level has increased slightly, and the percentage of income that people have to pay for their coverage has decreased slightly. So for people who receive a premium subsidy, the rate increases for are being offset by larger subsidies. This is the case for the majority of exchange enrollees, although Colorado has a much larger percentage of its exchange enrollees who pay full price than most states.
Earlier inreports that Anthem was evaluating whether to remain in the exchanges in had caused concern in several states, including Colorado, that have areas where Anthem is the only participating exchange insurer.
But Anthem has announced impending exits from some other states over the summer, despite filing rates for those states earlier in the spring. A full Anthem exit in Colorado would have caused significant problems, as there are 14 counties in western Colorado that have only Anthem as an option in the exchange in In early June, Governor Hickenlooper was considering the possibility of enacting regulations similar to recent New York regulations that would bar insurers from state managed care contracts if they stop offering coverage in the exchange.
In OctoberConnect for Health Colorado debuted their new Quick Cost and Plan Finder tool, designed to help enrollees compare plans and out-of-pocket costs. Open enrollment for coverage ran from November 1 to January 31, and enrollment ended up well above prior year totals. Connect for Health Colorado reported thatpeople enrolled in medical plans for by February 5, including stand-alone dental plans, there are a total ofenrollees.
Open enrollment had ended on January 31, but Connect for Health Colorado gave people until February 3 to finish enrolling, if they had begun the process by January In addition, people whose plans ended at the end of December had until the end of February to enroll in a new plan loss of coverage is a qualifying event that triggers a day special enrollment period.
As a result, enrollment continued to grow throughout February.
Connect for Health Colorado reported thatpeople enrolled in medical plans through the exchange by March 2, in addition to 3, stand-alone dental enrollments a total of 28, people enrolled in dental plans, but most of them also enrolled in medical plans.
In Colorado, the total wasAnd the Colorado enrollment report as of March 2 includes all of the people who enrolled in February due to loss of coverage at the end of Even with the lower total on January 31, enrollment in Connect for Health Colorado was more than 7 percent higher than it had been during the open enrollment period.
Nationwidethere was an average decline in enrollment among states that use HealthCare. The decline in states that use HealthCare.
By the end of November, the number of enrollments was 23 percent higher than it had been at the same point a year earlier. High enrollment volume continued in December, particularly leading up to the December 15 deadline to enroll in a plan with a January 1 effective date. The exchange reported that on December 14, there were 10, plan selections, and another 12, on December On September 20, the Colorado Division of Insurance released the approved rates for plans.
In the individual market, the Division of Insurance announced that premiums will increase by an average of The Colorado Department of Insurance reviewed rate filings throughout the summer for the carriers that proposed plans for In the individual market, seven carriers filed rates for on-exchange plans, down from ten in During the rate review process, rate hikes were adjusted both up and down for nearly every carrier.
December 17, ET | Source: Connect for Heath Colorado As a state -based health insurance marketplace, we are able to adjust our operations to best meet the needs of the residents of our Exchange News.
For the seven carriers that are offering plans in the exchange forproposed and approved average rate increases are as follows:. In the small group market, five carriers filed rates and plans for coverage in the exchange. Their proposed rate changes were much more modest than the proposed rate increases in the individual market.
Proposed and approved rate changes are as follows:. At the end ofHumana and UnitedHealthcare exited the individual health insurance market in Colorado, both on and off-exchange. United exited the exchanges in most of the states where it participated inand Humana exited several states. There were 10, Colorado residents with individual market coverage including on and off-exchange through UnitedHealthcare, and 9, with individual coverage from Humana. In total, that amounts to about 4.
Golden Rule, which is a UnitedHealthcare subsidiary, continued to offer individual market plans outside the exchange; United and Humana both continued to offer plans in the group market in Colorado.
Roughly 10, people in other areas of Colorado needed to enroll in new coverage foras their RMHP coverage ended at the end of Anthem continued to offer HMO plans throughout Colorado in and continues to do so as ofbut they discontinued their PPOs at the end of All of them had to select a new plan for They still had access to Anthem plans, albeit HMOs.
A special enrollment period applies when coverage is terminatedand it has different effective date rules. So all of those folks had until December 31 to pick a new plan with a January 1 effective date. Although some of the already-established health insurers in Colorado exited the market or reduced their offerings, Bright Health Insurance was approved by the Colorado Department of Insurance to offer individual plans on and off the exchange in The individual market in Colorado had been dominated mostly by Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Cigna, so there was plenty of room for a new carrier to enter the market and cause a shake-up in market share.
However, the experience of Colorado HealthOP detailed below is a cautionary tale about right-sizing premiums and growth. Bright is the first new carrier to enter the exchange in Colorado since the exchange opened for business in the fall of The other seven counties appear to have coverage county-wide though. They are continuing to offer coverage in those eight counties in Open enrollment ended on January 31, but there was a special enrollment period SEP through the end of February for people who lost coverage in Colorado at the end of December more details below.
Total enrollment for including SEP enrollment in February was about 19 percent higher than thepeople who enrolled in QHPs through the exchange during the open enrollment period. As of mid-Maythe exchange confirmed by email that effectuated enrollment was atThis is significantly higher than theeffectuated enrollment number in the most recent Connect for Health Colorado dashboard report from April.
The discrepancy was due to a lag time in reporting from carriers between plan selections and effectuations initial premium payment. The exchange released their August enrollment report in Septemberand although it showed cumulative enrollments continuing to increase, the reports never break out the actual number of people who currently have in-force individual market coverage through the exchange.
The general consensus was that the commission cuts were an effort by health insurance carriers to limit sales in general, or to limit sales of benefit-rich plans, which tend to be more popular among enrollees who have health conditions, and are more expensive to insure. In andeligibility for special enrollment periods was very loosely enforced by Healthcare. Bulletin B But it does result in fewer brokers being willing to assist people with individual market coverage commissions are still paid by all insurers for group health insurance plans.
After declining in andbroker commissions have increased again foras insurers have started to once again be profitable in the individiual market. There were still 75, people with grandmothered plans in the individual market in Colorado inand all of them had to select new coverage foras grandmothered plans terminated at the end of in Colorado.
All of these individuals had until the end of February to enroll in a new plan, as loss of coverage is a qualifying event that triggers a special enrollment period SEP that extends for 60 days after the loss of coverage. As of early January, Connect for Health Colorado reported that only about 25, of those people had enrolled in new coverage through the exchange for The other 39, were either uninsured in January or had selected coverage outside the exchange. The exchange worked to enroll more of the former CO-OP members during the special enrollment period that extended through the end of February.
Ultimately, enrollment in QHPs grew by almost 12, people during February Colorado has significant disparity in terms of healthcare costs and thus health insurance premiums from one area of the state to another. In an effort to address the disparity, then-Governor Hickenlooper signed HB into law in May Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar noted that a single rating area strategy could backfire, leading carriers to adjust their plan offerings or even leave the state altogether.
As ofColorado still has nine rating areas. On October 23,the Colorado Division of Insurance announced final rates for the individual and small group market in two days after Connect for Health Colorado became the fourth state to enable browsing and window shopping on its exchange site for plans CaliforniaIdahoand Maryland already had plans available for browsing on their exchange sites by that point.
The overall weighted average rate increase for the individual market in was 9. For the state-wide small group market, the weighted average rate increase was 3. The Division of Insurance also created an at-a-glance map of the state that shows average rate increases by areafor both the individual and small group markets.
Three carriers that offered coverage in pulled out of the market in Colorado HealthOP more details belowNew Health Ventures Access Health Coloradoand Time Insurance Company Time only sold off-exchange plans inand has exited the market nationwide. But three new carriers began offering health plans in albeit only off-exchange: Golden Rule in the individual market; Aetna Health, and Aetna Life in the small group market. Ten of them offered individual plans in the exchange, and five offered small business plans in the Colorado SHOP exchange.
There were a total of individual market plans available in the exchange up from indespite the fact that two exchange carriers exited the market.
Coloradans shopping for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado ฎ can now preview health plans and estimate costs on their [ ] Read More. The decision comes during a period of open enrollment for Colorado's health insurance marketplace. The Colorado Division of Insurance urges. The website for Connect for Health Colorado, the state's health insurance exchange, shown in October (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun).
There were small group plans available in the exchange, up from in Rate changes for individual plans in the exchange ranged from a 4 percent increase Kaiser; they had requested only a 2 percent increase, but the DOI increased that to 4 percent to a Because rates increased across the state, premium subsidies were larger in in order to maintain the affordability of coverage. In the Denver area, benchmark premiums increased by an average of In the Connect for Health Colorado individual exchange, three not-for-profit carriers had 90 percent of the market share in The CO-OP had said just the day before that they had three viable solutions for fundingand they noted that they had presented them to the DOI earlier in the week.
Colorado Health OP had said that they were on track to pay back their federal start-up loans in full and ahead of schedule, but that was derailed by the announcement on October 1 that risk corridor payments would be just It is a key function of Colorado Divison of Insurance to make sure that insurance carriers are financially stable enough to pay the claims of their policyholders. While Colorado HealthOP can continue to pay claims for the rest ofwe cannot allow it to sell or renew policies on the exchange for In a last-ditch effort to be allowed to participate in the open enrollment, Colorado HealthOP filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court on October 19, requesting an injunction and temporary restraining order against Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar.
But by the end of the day, following a closed-door court hearing, the case had been withdrawn and suppressed by the court and the CO-OP had agreed to begin the process of winding down their operations by the end of the year.
Uncertainty may be flooding the health care market after a Texas ruling on the Affordable Care Act, but in Colorado there is some good news. Colorado has a state-run exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. Lawmakers in Colorado again rejected a bill to provide state-based premium subsidies to. Coloradans shopping for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado ฎ can now preview health plans and estimate costs on their mobile devices and.
Colorado HealthOP had about 80, people enrolled in individual plans in All of those members had to sign up for new coverage for There were also almost 3, members enrolled in small group plans, and initially, the plan was that they would have to switch to new plans as of their next renewal date. Supporters of universal healthcare in Colorado worked for months to gather signatures in support of ColoradoCarea universal coverage system that would have gone into effect in if voters had approved it in the election.
At least 98, signatures were necessary in order to get the ColoradoCare proposal on the ballot next fall. On October 22,the ColoradoCare campaign announced that they had gathered enough signatures ; they were delivered to the Colorado Secretary of State on October Supporters were able to gather far more signatures than necessary, and on November 9, the Secretary of State confirmed that there were nearlyvalid signatures.
As a result, the measure was on the ballot a year later, in November But voters resoundingly rejected the measure, with just 21 percent in favor, and 79 percent opposed.
Employees would have paid only a third of the total tax, with their employers kicking in the remaining two-thirds ie, employees would have paid 3. The Colorado Health Access survey found even better resultsindicating that the uninsured rate in the state had dropped to just 6. Clearly, the state is heading in the right direction, but ColoradoCare proponents wanted and still do want to go a step further and make coverage truly universal. The exchange had to be self-sustaining starting inand board members noted in that higher fees were necessary in order to generate sufficient revenue.
In andthe fee was 1. In MayConnect for Health Colorado recommended increasing that fee to at least 3. Both of these changes were approved by the exchange board of directors in May The exchange board was scheduled to meet next on June 8, but they moved up their schedule in order to vote on the fee increases as soon as possible after they were proposed.
The fee increases went into effect January ; the new fee is 3. Nationwide, individual market enrollment, including on and off-exchange policies as well as grandfathered and grandmothered plans, increased by 46 percent in But in Colorado, enrollment dropped by 4 percent.
However, the state-run exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, saw private plan enrollment grow topeople during the open enrollment period an increase of about 10 percent over the total at the end of the open enrollment period.
Colorado health insurance exchange news
By Apriltotal enrollment in medical plans had grown to , and 88 percent of those enrollments had been effectuated by the beginning of May. In July, Connect for Health Colorado released an enrollment update for with data through the end of Juneand total effectuated enrollment stood atBut that included SHOP enrollments as well as people who purchased dental-only coverage.
The report also included the number of effectuated medical plan enrollments with and without premium subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies 74, with subsidies, and 59, without. These are medical-only plans, so adding the two amounts together, we getpeople with in-force medical coverage through the exchange as of the end of June.
And that number had grown toby the end of July. In four weeks, the door closes for buying your health plan. Coloradans have selectedmedical insurance plans through the December 15 deadline.
Colorado health insurance marketplace: history and news of the states exchange
The total wasfor the comparable period in Seventeen percent of the medical plan selections are by customers who are new to Connect for Health Colorado and 83 percent are renewing customers. Connect for Health Colorado opened for business November 1 with rate increases lower than the state has seen in years, a streamlined application process that will save Coloradans time obtaining financial assistance and all seven health insurance companies returning to the individual market in While many states have concluded their Open Enrollment periods, Open Enrollment in Colorado runs to January 15,for insurance that will take effect February 1, Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established by the Colorado General Assembly in to create a health insurance Marketplace.
It opened for business on Oct. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives; and access free, in-person assistance from a statewide network of certified Brokers, community-based Health Coverage Guides or Application Counselors. Subscribe via RSS. Subscribe via ATOM. Connect for Heath Colorado Logo.