As I mentioned in yesterday's video (above), Connect For Health Colorado is on schedule for opening October 1, 2013. Right now the biggest question still is "Will this save me money?" That should be answered soon.
The Colorado Division of Insurance has nearly completed their review of 750 individual and group plans that have been filed for approval. No small task for sure. The marketplace itself will have approximately 120 plans available depending on Division of Insurance approval. When you break that down further, we will have a much smaller number that will be presentable on the Western Slope, based on the physician network and affordability. The balance of plans approved will be available outside of the marketplace. Any plans purchased outside of the marketplace will not be eligible for any individual premium subsidy or employer tax credit.
Insurance brokers must be certified to sell plans in the marketplace. I am just now completing the online portion of this training and will be in the first two day classroom instruction on the 19th and 20th of this month. After the certification process is complete, any individual or employer group that would prefer the advice and assistance of a professional insurance broker (that would be me), will need to complete an agency agreement to represent them with their marketplace enrollment. Many others will continue their current insurance plans just as they do now outside the marketplace.
The marketplace for employers under 50 employees will be quite unique. You will have an opportunity, as an employer, to select one plan for all employees or offer multiple plans from different insurance carriers. Under a "Defined Contribution" plan, employers may budget a specific amount of money per employee to purchase the plan of the employees choice. Keep in mind that rates in the marketplace will be strictly age-rated only. Therefore a contribution of $ xx.00 may be enough to pay for the choice of a younger employee but not near enough for an older employee.
I can not stress enough the importance that the premium subsidies will play for individuals and families. For those that are not a part of an employer sponsored plan, the marketplace will certainly be your best friend. Keep in mind that the premium subsidies as well as the medical cost share subsidies will be strictly income based.
Good Health - That's the Plan!