Getting health insurance can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of research and knowing where to look, Colorado residents can find comprehensive, affordable health plans to meet their needs.
This guide will walk you through the key steps for getting health insurance quotes in Colorado and finding coverage that fits your budget.
Overview of Health Insurance in Colorado
In Colorado, most residents get their health insurance either through their employer or by purchasing a plan on the health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado.
This state-run marketplace offers plans from various insurance carriers that have been vetted and approved based on coverage and affordability measures.
Some key things to know:
- Most marketplace plans come in four “metal” tiers – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Bronze plans have the lowest monthly premiums but the highest out-of-pocket costs when you need care. Platinum plans have the highest premiums but lower deductibles and copays.
- You may qualify for tax credits and cost-sharing reductions to lower your overall costs, based on your income. Over 75% of Colorado marketplace enrollees receive financial assistance.
- There is an yearly Open Enrollment Period to purchase marketplace plans. For 2024 coverage, this runs from November 1, 2023 through January 15, 2024. Outside this window, you need a special enrollment period to get coverage.
- Off-marketplace plans are also available directly through private insurance companies. These follow different rules for enrollment periods and financial assistance.
Where to Get Quotes in Colorado
You have several options for getting health insurance quotes in Colorado:
Connect for Health Colorado Marketplace
This should be your first stop to view all your marketplace plan options in one place, along with estimated tax credits if you qualify. Simply enter your zip code, household size and income to preview plans. During open enrollment you can purchase a plan online in a few quick steps.
Private Online Brokers
Online insurance brokers provide a marketplace for easily comparing plans from multiple carriers:
- eHealthInsurance – ehealthinsurance.com
- HealthCare.com – healthcare.com
- QuoteWizard – quotewizard.com
These sites ask you a few quick questions before providing personalized quotes from partner marketplace and off-marketplace carriers.
Direct Contact with Insurance Companies
Reaching out directly to insurance companies can be an option for marketplace or private plan quotes. Some major carriers in Colorado include:
- Anthem – anthem.com
- Cigna – cigna.com
- Kaiser Permanente – healthy.kaiserpermanente.org
- Rocky Mountain Health Plans – rmhp.org
- UnitedHealthcare – uhc.com
Contact representative to discuss plan options and get rate quotes for your situation.
What Impacts Your Colorado Health Insurance Rates
Several personal factors go into calculating your unique premium rates, out-of-pocket costs, and eligibility for financial assistance:
Age – Older individuals typically have higher premium rates. Current Colorado law allows plans to charge older adults up to 3 times as much as younger adults.
Tobacco Use – Insurers charge tobacco users up to 50% more in premiums due to increased health risks.
Household Size – More household members means higher premiums, but it can also increase tax credit eligibility.
Income – Lower and middle-income residents get larger tax credits and extra savings to lower costs.
Health Status – Pre-existing conditions cannot be denied, but can still contribute to higher premium quotes.
Plan Type – Bronze plans have lower premiums but high out-of-pocket costs. Platinum plans have the highest premiums and lowest cost-sharing.
Deductible – Plans with higher deductibles have lower monthly premium rates.
Location – Premium rates can vary between Colorado counties. Rating areas are based on local care costs.
Using the plan comparison tools on the marketplace sites will show you all these factors calculated into your personalized rate quotes. This makes comparing plans simple.
Tips for Finding the Best Plan
Follow this advice to make sure you get the most suitable coverage at the lowest price:
- Shop around – Compare a variety of carriers and plans to pinpoint the best rates and coverage.
- Meet enrollment deadlines – Apply during Open Enrollment or quickly if you have a special enrollment trigger.
- Calculate total costs – Factor in premiums, deductibles and likely healthcare services needed.
- Check for hidden limits – Review summary documents for types of care limited or not covered.
- Compare online reviews – Research quality and customer satisfaction ratings on carriers.
- Ask questions – Talk to marketplace navigators or broker reps to clarify uncertainties.
Taking the time upfront to understand your options will pay off tremendously in securing affordable, comprehensive health insurance in Colorado.
Additional Colorado Health Insurance Resources
For help navigating your health coverage options, check out these reliable resources:
- Colorado Division of Insurance – Information on consumer rights, filing complaints and resolving issues with insurers.
- Connect for Health Colorado – Assistance from licensed experts on selecting and enrolling in health plans.
- Plan Comparison Worksheet – Tool to organize notes and compare features across different plan options.
The Bottom Line
The key to finding great health coverage in Colorado is educating yourself on the marketplace, knowing your budget and care needs, and thoroughly comparing all options. Utilize the recommend marketplace sites and broker services to simplify getting rate estimates.
And take advantage of enrollment periods, financial assistance programs and consumer protections to access the quality, affordable care essential for long-term health and financial stability.
With the right guidance and resources, getting insured in Colorado can be straightforward. Now go pick the perfect health plan for you and your family!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the yearly Open Enrollment Period in Colorado?
The Open Enrollment Period for purchasing 2024 health plans runs from November 1, 2023 through January 15, 2024. This is the main window each year for enrolling in coverage.
When can I enroll in a Special Enrollment Period?
Outside of Open Enrollment, you need to have certain life events to trigger a Special Enrollment Period. Qualifying events include losing workplace coverage, moving to Colorado, getting married, having a baby, or other changes resulting in needing new health insurance.
How long do I have to enroll after a qualifying life event?
In most cases, you have 60 days from the date of the qualifying event to select and enroll in a marketplace health plan. It’s important to shop and apply as soon as possible.
Which health insurance companies offer plans in Colorado?
Major insurance carriers selling marketplace plans in Colorado include Anthem, Cigna, Denver Health, Friday Health Plans, Kaiser Permanente, Bright Health, and UnitedHealthcare. Many smaller providers also offer marketplace or private insurance options.
What if I still can’t afford health insurance?
If your income falls under a certain level, you may qualify for free or low-cost health coverage from Medicaid or CHIP programs. Use the marketplace sites or contact the Colorado Dept of Health Care Policy and Financing to check eligibility.