Signed into law in March 2010 by President Barack Obama, the Affordable Care Act (sometimes referred to as ObamaCare) seeks to expand health insurance coverage, protect consumers and provide flexible health insurance options. Key features include:
- access to insurance for patients with pre-existing conditions
- young adult coverage – children can be covered up until age 26
- elimination of lifetime limits on insurance coverage
All health insurance plans sold on the official websites are required to offer all of the new rights, protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
The Connect for Health Colorado (Spanish) is the official Colorado State marketplace for health insurance where consumers can apply for health care plans, compare prices of plans, change plans and apply for cost-assistance.
Open Enrollment Begins November 1st for 2016 Coverage
Open Enrollment begins – start shopping for 2016 health insurance
Deadline to select coverage beginning Jan.1st.
Those eligible for renewal will be automatically enrolled in their plan and tax credit if no changes are made.
Deadline to pay insurance company for January 1st coverage
Last day to apply for 2016 health insurance and avoid a penalty of at least $695 per person, or much higher depending on income
- Health Insurance Coverage
There are two types of in person assistance. Help families figure out what sort of help they need:
Health Coverage Guides
Walk customers through health insurance options and assist in filling out applications
Can provide specific insurance recommendations to customers based on their personal information.
- Tax Credit Estimator
Depending on one’s income, individuals and families may be eligible for tax credits and assistance. If an individual and family’s income fall below the amounts listed, they may be eligible for Medicaid:
Individual earning less than $46,680
Family of 2 earning less than $62,920
Family of 3 earning less than $79,160
Family of 4 earning less than $95,400
If consumers do qualify for tax credits, they can decide how they would like to use it.
Consumers can choose how much to take each month to reduce their premium. The credit will be sent to their health insurance company each month and they will pay the difference. If consumers don’t take the full amount each month, they can claim that on their tax return at the end of the year.
- Life Change Events
Consumers must report their life-change events to Connect for Health Colorado within 30 days after it occurs to be able to buy a new plan. If a consumers are aware that their employer sponsored coverage is going to end, they can make the change up to 60 days beforehand to ensure the new coverage takes effect as soon as their old coverage ends.
Call to report a life change event: 855-PLANS-4-YOU (855-752-6749)
- Other Connect for Health Colorado Links
- Other Health Insurance Resources and Assistance
- Resources for Outside of Colorado
- Healthcare.gov – Official Health Insurance Site
- State Health Insurance Health Insurance Types, 2015 – Kaiser Family Foundation
- Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services
- Find Your State Marketplace – Not a state website, but another resource to search plans