63,000+ sign up at health exchange

DENVER – From Oct. 1 through Jan. 15, more than 63,000 Coloradans signed up or were approved for 2014 private health coverage, according to data released today from Connect for Health Colorado and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

Jan. 15 was the deadline for Coloradans to sign up for private health insurance that takes effect Feb. 1. The next deadline is Feb. 15 to have private health insurance start on March 1. Open enrollment continues until March 31. Enrollment for Medicaid is year-round.

For the period, 63,407 Coloradans signed up for private insurance, out of 155,804 who created accounts. During the same period, 101,730 Coloradans signed up for Medicaid coverage, for a total of 165,137 who gained some type of coverage through the website. The site recorded an average of 7,982 visitors per day, according to Connect for Health Colorado.

“We are encouraged to see steady interest from Coloradans during the second half of our open enrollment period and we are focused on reaching as many Coloradans as possible to help them shop for health insurance and apply for new tax credits to reduce costs,´ said Patty Fontneau, chief executive of Connect for Health Colorado, in a press statement.

“Together with our partners at Connect for Health Colorado, we are reaching and enrolling the uninsured,´ said Susan Birch, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “The numbers released today further demonstrate Colorado as a leader in the nation. We are among a handful of States with technology in place to allow for real-time eligibility determinations for Medicaid. The technology, along with our strong network of county and community partners, has allowed us to enroll individuals into new coverage faster than many other states many of which have much larger populations to reach.”

Through state laws, Connect for Health Colorado was established as a nonprofit entity with a Colorado mission. In addition, Colorado is expanding eligibility for Medicaid. Private health insurance purchased through Connect for Health Colorado’s competitive marketplace and the expanded eligibility for Medicaid both take effect this year. Enhanced federal funding that became available Jan. 1 is supporting the Medicaid expansion.

Connect for Health Colorado, which has been open since Oct. 1, operates with separate technology and customer service operations from the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov. Connect for Health Colorado is open to individuals, families and small businesses. Individuals and families can choose from up to 150 private health insurance plans from 10 carriers and small employers can create small group plans from up to 92 health insurance plans provided by six carriers.

The Customer Service Center is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at 1-855-PLANS-4-YOU (855-752-6749). More information is available at www.ConnectforHealthCO.com.

Colorado Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) are public insurance programs for low-income Coloradans. The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing administers these programs. Coloradans have multiple ways to apply for coverage, Colorado.gov/PEAK is the online application for public assistance programs including medical assistance. For more information visit Colorado.gov/hcpf or Colorado.gov/health. The Medicaid Call Center (800-221-3943 for general questions and 800-359-1991 to check application status) are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The call center is closed on state holidays.


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