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Deadline Friday for 2018 Obamacare coverage on Connect for Health Colorado

January 9, 2018, 6:43 am

Connect For Health Colorado, the state’s Obamacare exchange that has seen record enrollment so far this year, is in its final week of signing people up for 2018 individual or small-group health insurance plans.

Kevin Patterson

Kevin Patterson

The statewide exchange is holding a number of events to get even more people signed up by the Jan. 12 deadline for coverage that begins Feb. 1. Go to the Connect For Health website to browse for plans and to see what free sign-up events may be coming to a town near you.

“Our outreach and marketing are in high gear as we move into the last week of this Open Enrollment Period,” Connect For Health Colorado CEO Kevin Patterson said in an email blast over the weekend.

He also highlighted extended hours for Connect For Health’s Customer Service Center during the final week of enrollment:

  • Monday, January 8, to Thursday, January 117 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, January 12, 7 a.m. to midnight.

Enrollment numbers released at the beginning of December showed record sign-ups for 2018 despite uncertainty about the long-term stability of Obamacare at the federal level.

Patterson addressed some of that uncertainty in his Dec. 22 newsletter:

To Our Valued Stakeholders,
What a year it’s been in the healthcare policy world. This week, with a mix of good news at the state level and new uncertainty at the federal level, has been no exception.
We are happy to see that the state has found the resources to extend the Child Health Insurance Program (CHP+ in Colorado) through February and that Congress’ continuing resolution will authorize fundingfor six months of the program. That prevents, for now, the need to move the 75,000 children and 762 pregnant mothers covered by the program into alternative coverage.
We are hearing from some who are justifiably concerned about the repeal of the individual mandate in 2019 under the just-passed tax bill.
While I don’t mean to minimize these concerns and the lack of clarity the measure brings, I would like to share with you some points that give me and others on theConnect for Health Colorado team optimism as we look ahead.
  • These early Open Enrollment metrics presented to our board Monday show not only a record number of plan selections for the coming year, but also a significant increase in customers qualifying for financial help in the form of tax credit assistance, three out of four obtaining coverage.
  • The financial help is paying 80% of the premium, on average, for those who qualify. These figures are all likely to change a little as we continue to enroll but the emerging trends are clear.
  • Provisions of the Affordable Care Act that protect us from bankruptcy – elimination of annual and lifetime caps on benefits, prohibiting health insurance companies from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition – remain the law of the land.
  • A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that only 8% of Marketplacecustomers said they would go uncovered without the mandate.

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