In addition to raking leaves and collecting brush, a top priority on your fall chore list should be a review of your health insurance. Changes in family size, income, tax credit opportunities, and available health plans may have occurred in the last year and the window for reevaluation is only from November 1, 2017 to January 12, 2018.

If you are a Connect for Health Colorado customer, this could be an easy task. Connect for Health will send letters outlining steps for review, and if applicable, renewal. Any changes to income or family size have to be reported to ensure tax credits are properly calculated. If there are no changes to report, an actionless auto-renew option may be available.

A timely review of your health insurance is especially important as some current plans are not available for 2018. Despite this, many options are still available.

While there is much discussion regarding increases in health care costs and insurance rates, not everyone will be affected, and for some, premiums will decrease. If your plan is offered for 2018, reviewing its benefits and expenses for the coming year is a great idea. There are about 25 plans from various companies to choose from and the shopping process is simple. Through the health insurance marketplace, tax credits are available to eligible individuals to lower monthly payments. The amount of assistance you receive through tax credits may actually go up to offset the rate increases, resulting in lower actual costs.

Many people who do not have health insurance may be unaware of the possible substantial amount of help available through a tax credit. The average amount of assistance given to applicants in La Plata County is over $472 per month.

Eligibility, restrictions, and available health plans can all be determined with one phone call to our Health Coverage Guides at San Juan Basin Public Health. At no cost, our certified staff can walk individuals and families through the marketplace and set them up with the right plan. Take the time to do this – you may be surprised at the potential tax credit you qualify for, and the plan options available to you!

This December there will be two enrollment events with guides available for in-person assistance with enrolling. For the full schedule of events in La Plata and Archuleta counties, visit sjbpublichealth.org/healthinsurance/ or call 970-335-2021.