Government & Politics  July 18, 2023

Division of insurance pulls plug on Friday Health Plans

DENVER — The Colorado Division of Insurance has pulled the plug on Friday Health Plans, meaning enrollees will need to find new insurance by Aug. 31. 

A press statement from the division said that Friday Health’s financial instability led to the decision, combined with health care providers refusing to treat Friday enrollees.

“The DOI has proactively asked the courts to move Friday Health into liquidation. Its health plans in Colorado will terminate on Aug. 31, 2023. As a result, a special enrollment period will begin immediately for Friday members so they can sign up for new coverage. People who want coverage starting on Sept. 1 must enroll in a new plan by Aug. 31. Individuals who enroll after Aug. 31 will have their coverage start on the first of the month after enrolling in a new plan,” the division said in its statement.

Insurance commissioner Michael Conway said the steps the division took were not enough to preserve the relationship.

“Diving deeper into Friday’s finances after putting the company into rehabilitation, the division became concerned about its ability to make it through the rest of the year. As a result, I am taking this step to protect Coloradans and the people enrolled in Friday and to protect the open enrollment process for 2024,” Conway said. “Yet, as we work to protect people, I am disappointed that some health care providers are refusing to see Friday members and provide treatment. It’s especially concerning because of the division’s efforts to make sure Friday Health became a member of the Colorado Guaranty Association in order to, in part, protect providers.”  

House Bill 23-1303 added Friday Health to the Colorado Life and Health Guaranty Association so that consumers would be protected if the insurer failed. 

On June 21, the DOI took control of Friday Health Plans of Colorado, placing them into rehabilitation. This allowed the division to analyze the company’s financial projections in greater detail. That analysis led to concerns that the company would not be able to make it through the end of 2023. “Allowing the company to continue operations at this point could negatively impact Colorado consumers trying to enroll in health insurance during the upcoming open enrollment for 2024, leading to consumer confusion and creating additional problems. As a result, Commissioner Conway made the decision to take action now,” the division said.

The special enrollment period for Friday customers started Monday and runs through Oct. 31. For those who want uninterrupted coverage, they’ll need to make decisions by Aug. 31, the day the Friday plans go away.

The division has asked other insurers in the state to honor Friday’s deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums that Friday clients had already accumulated for 2023.

Health care providers will be paid for Friday health claims.