DENVER — Even as we see so many positive signs in our fight against COVID-19, we know that there are still many Coloradans without health insurance. The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), wants to remind people that not only can they still sign up for health insurance during an extended enrollment period, but the additional financial help for health insurance is still in place.
Lower Costs for Coverage
Since the American Rescue Plan was put into place, families of all income ranges may now qualify for savings on health insurance when they shop through our state marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado. The new law also increased the amount of assistance people can receive to cover some or all the cost of their health insurance premiums. In fact, three out of four customers could potentially find a plan for $25 a month or less after the new savings are applied.
And folks who received unemployment benefits in 2021 may qualify for $0 premium plan options.
“Because of the American Rescue Plan Act, more people will get help paying for health insurance,” said Liz Tansey, Covering Kids & Families Project Manager with the Colorado Community Health Network. “Even if you applied in the past, your costs may be different now. If you need help applying, all Colorado Community Health Centers have certified assisters on staff (find a Community Health Center using the Colorado Community Health Network map). And of course, you can also find help through Connect for Health Colorado.”
“There are a number of ways to find plans and financial assistance,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “In addition to what Liz mentioned, Connect has an easy way to see if you qualify for the new financial assistance available. Visit their ‘Get Financial Help’ website to see if you qualify for additional savings. This tool will take into account your age, region and income to give you an estimate.”
Here are some of the key ways the American Rescue Plan helps make insurance more affordable.
There is more financial help available to more Coloradans for health insurance. For some, staying with their current plan could result in $0 premiums, for others, it might mean changing plans. But many could simply see significant reductions in their premiums.
People who were making too much money to qualify for subsidies before may now qualify for financial help to reduce premiums.
Anyone who has received unemployment benefits for at least one week starting in 2021 may qualify for $0 and low-cost 2021 health insurance premium options when they shop through Connect for Health Colorado. The amount of financial assistance provided will cover the entire cost of the second-lowest-cost Silver plan, but you can put that amount of help toward any plan available to you.
When Can I Get More Savings and/or Enroll?
You can submit a new application for financial help now. Connect for Health Colorado is keeping enrollment open to anyone who needs health insurance through Aug. 15, 2021. The best way to find out whether you qualify for $0 and low-cost health insurance plans, and to see all the plans available to you, is to submit an application. If anyone needs coverage for themselves or their families, now is the time. And for those who already have coverage, but didn’t qualify for assistance before, take the time to re-apply to see how much financial help is available.
People can enroll using Connect for Health Colorado or by contacting the insurance company directly. However, Connect for Health Colorado is still the only place where Coloradans can receive financial assistance to make insurance more affordable. Colorado individual health insurance consumers who wish to use Connect for Health Colorado can enroll online at ConnectforHealthCO.com, can get help and/or enroll over the phone at 855-752-6749, or they can get free, virtual enrollment assistance from certified brokers and assisters.