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Posted on: October 14, 2022

Health Insurance Literacy Creating Community Column

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Connect for Health Colorado’s Open Enrollment season is upon us, but this year, things are a little bit different. In 2023, Colorado residents will have access lower, fixed-cost plans that have previously not been available. Also, Colorado residents who are undocumented can shop for health insurance on Colorado Connect. And a solution to the “Family Glitch” which increases access to tax credits. This all may sound a little confusing, but San Juan Basin Public Health’s Health Insurance Literacy team and Connect for Health Colorado are here to help sort through what is new and help connect you to coverage. 

Here are a few things you can expect during the Connect for Health Colorado Open Enrollment Period: 

Standardized Plans/Colorado Option These lower, fixed-cost plans are called Standardized Plans or Colorado Option Plans and will be available on Connect for Health Colorado and Colorado Connect.  Every company that sells health insurance in Colorado must offer plans with specific sets of lower, fixed costs and make them available to everyone – no matter the documentation status. These plans are making health care more affordable and accessible for all Coloradans. 

Undocumented Coverage Starting this Open Enrollment Period, Coloradoans who are undocumented can compare and enroll into health plans on Colorado Connect, Connect for Health Colorado’s new, secure online platform.  The plans available will be the same Standardized Plans offered on Connect for Health Colorado.  Some individuals, depending on income, may be eligible for a plan at no cost. 

A solution to the “Family Glitch” Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, family members who are offered health insurance through a spouse or parent’s employer were most likely ineligible to receive tax credits.  As long as the employer coverage was deemed affordable to the employee themselves, it would be considered “affordable” for the rest of the family.  This was termed the “Family Glitch.” In 2023, the premium cost for the additional family members will be taken into consideration. If it is deemed that adding family members to the plan would be unaffordable (premiums costing more than 9.61% of household income for 2022 and/or 9.12% for 2023), the uninsured family members will be eligible for tax credits on Connect for Health Colorado’s Marketplace, lowering monthly costs for health insurance. 

Reminders from the Health Insurance Literacy program  

  • Connect for Health Colorado’s Open Enrollment is from November 1, 2022, through Jan 15, 2023. This is an opportunity to shop for plans for 2023.  Make sure to apply or re-enroll on Connect for Health Colorado or Colorado Connect before Dec 15, 2022, for coverage to start Jan 1, 2023.  
  • If you are on Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid Program), update your contact information as soon as possible.  With the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency nearing an end, the State will use this information to notify you of actions needed to continue or update your source of coverage. 

Next year is one of opportunity within the ever-evolving health insurance landscape.  Last year, the average Colorado household saved 52 percent on their monthly premiums on Connect for Health Colorado. The Certified Connect for Health Colorado Health Coverage Guides at San Juan Basin Public Health are here to help you navigate this Open Enrollment. Please contact our Health Insurance Literacy team at HIL@sjbpublichealth.org or call us at 970-335-2028 to set up an appointment or ask any questions. 

Emma Tomlinson is the health literacy guide for San Juan Basin Public Health. Reach her at hil@sjbpublichealth.org. 

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